The Wildcats (2-2, 2-1) gave South (5-1, 3-0) everything it had in the first 16 minutes, holding a 26-25 halftime lead.
“We told the girls at halftime no team wins a game in the first half,” Williamsport coach Chris Malott said. “We could have led at halftime at least 32-24 but we missed too many layups in the first half.”
Williamsport held a 19-9 lead with under seven minutes left in the second quarter and still held a 24-15 lead with 2:25 left on a jumper by freshman Kate Wade.
South (5-1, 3-0) closed within a point at the break on a field goal by Alexis Shaffer.
“I tried not to remember the first half,” South coach Nate Naylor said. “(Williamsport) was fired up, but we knew it would take 32 minutes for them to beat us. We weren’t concerned.”
Coming off a tough victory over Francis Scott Key on Monday, South made only 9 of 35 shots in the first half.
Victoria Key hit a bucket at the outset of the third quarter for a 28-25 Wildcats lead, but then the Rebels took over.
Chelsey Scott hit a 3-pointer for the tie and Katrice Dickson hit a runner in the lane for a 30-28 lead with 6:58 on the clock.
Erin Palmer scored for Williamsport before Tayana Stewart hit a 3 for a 33-30 South lead the Rebels never relinquished.
South went on an 11-0 run, fueled by Dickson’s five points, and by quarter’s end the Rebels were up 48-34.
Scott wreaked the most havoc on the Wildcats defensively, hounding Williamsport ballhandlers with a halfcourt man defense in the second half and forcing numerous turnovers — Williamsport had 27 in the game.
“(Scott) was the defensive stopper,” Malott said. “We ran a three-guard offense designed to go away from her, but she gets to the ball everywhere.”
Dickson, who played with a third personal foul she picked up with 5:50 to go in the third quarter, led the Rebels with 14 points. She did not play in the fourth quarter after landing hard on her left wrist in a rush for a loose ball at halfcourt.
Stewart added 12 points, coming off her 20-point game on Monday.
“It was a mental test for us tonight,” Naylor said. “We kinda came out on the fly, but Williamsport played scrappy ball.”
Wade showed she’s more than an untested freshman, leading the Wildcats with 15 points, 11 in the first half.
“Kate has guts, she’s as tough as nails,” Malott said. “South is a very good team, but I do not fault anything about my team tonight.”
South Hagerstown 59, Williamsport 44
SOUTH HAGERSTOWN (5-1, 3-0)
Bedgregal 4, Scott 9, Johnson 4, K. Dickson 14, C. Dickson 6, Longfellow 2, Stewart 12, Tillman 4,, Shaffer 2, Fleming 2. Totals 23 9-12 59.
WILLIAMSPORT (2-2, 2-1)
Grimes 3, Key 4, Wade 15, C. Robinson 8, A. Robinson 2, Kastelein 6, Palmer 6. Totals 13 15-25 44.
South 7 18 23 13 — 59
Williamsport 14 12 8 10 — 44
3-point goals — South 4 (Scott 3, Stewart), Williamsport 3 (Wade 3).