George Washington’s Kalissa Lacy may soon get a phone call from the federal government.
Lacy has become a repeat offender for shooting down Flying Eagles.
On Thursday, Lacy scored George Washington’s first 12 points and finished with 37 to lead the Patriots to a 67-49 win over Woodrow Wilson in the first-ever Class AAAA quarterfinal at the girls basketball state tournament at Charleston Coliseum. Lacy hit seven of the Patriots’ 12 3-pointers in the win.
“Today may have been an above-exceptional day, but for the most part that’s who we’ve been all year is an outside perimeter shooting team,” GW coach Jamie LaMaster said.
With the win, No. 3 seed George Washington (14-3) advances to take on No. 2 Cabell Midland (13-3) in the Class AAAA semifinals at 9 p.m. Friday. Midland defeated No. 7 Jefferson 59-46 in Thursday’s second AAAA quarterfinal.
Lacy’s performance was a scene that Woodrow Wilson coach Brian Nabors has seen play out before. In five career games against the Flying Eagles, Lacy has produced the following point totals — 30, 34, 20, 30 and now 37 points — 30.2 points per game.
“She’s been killing us for four years,” Nabors said. “Like I said in the Beckley paper, it just seems like we turn her on.”
While Lacy downplayed any correlation with playing Woodrow Wilson, the 2020 state Player of the Year — and a strong candidate to repeat that honor — did reference her only other trip to the main stage in Charleston as motivation.
“I was actually looking at the article the other day to kind of pump me up because I was 0 for 7 in my freshman year here on 3-pointers,” Lacy said. “I think that was the main thing — just concentrating and don’t let the open-gym effect get to me.”
Lacy got the day off to a hot start, hitting all seven of her shots — four of which were 3-pointers — in the first quarter, scoring 18 points to lead the Patriots to an early lead. It was one George Washington never relinquished.
Woodrow Wilson used the play of sophomore guard Keanti Thompson to get back as close as 25-20 with 5:48 left in the second quarter, but Thompson was called for a charge and subsequent frustration foul seconds later, giving her three personals midway through the second quarter.
Thompson, a sophomore stepping into the primary ball-handling role for injured guard Cloey Frantz, was forced to the bench, which spelled disaster for the Flying Eagles. George Washington ended the first half on a 16-3 run to seize control and did not look back.
In a game that featured lots of inexperience on both sides, it was the play of George Washington’s two senior mainstays — Lacy and Vivian Ho — that led the Patriots to the win.
Ho scored 17 points and combined with Lacy to go 21 of 31 from the floor while accounting for 54 of the team’s 67 points.
“To get us here, these kids understand,” LaMaster said. “They’ve been here and they know what it takes and they did an exceptional job of leading our players.”
In addition to scoring 17 points, Ho’s defensive presence disrupted the flow of Woodrow Wilson’s offense, which led to 27 points off turnovers. Lacy and Ho each had six assists, many of which came in transition. Lacy was also credited with six steals.
“I told Vivian we’re not out there to gamble and get steals,” LaMaster said. “We’re out there to work her and try to grind her over the course of the game.”
That defense helped offset Woodrow Wilson’s sizable rebounding advantage. The Flying Eagles owned a 38-20 edge on the boards, with 20 of those rebounds coming on the offensive end.
Nabors said the inability to knock down some of those second-chance looks combined with Lacy’s hot shooting for a tough day.
“We talk all the time about finishing strong and playing through contact and things of that nature,” Nabors said. “It’s just frustrating. It wasn’t our day today. It just wasn’t meant to be.’’
Thompson led Woodrow Wilson (13-5) with 18 points and Jamara Walton added 13 points and 11 rebounds.