PLANO — Woodhouse and Walls kind of sounds like the name of a legal firm.
But in the case of Plano’s Ryssa Woodhouse and Mikayla Walls against Interstate Eight Conference foe Morris, both laid down the law throughout a come-from-behind, 46-40 girls basketball victory Wednesday evening at Reaper Gymnasium.
Woodhouse tallied a game-high 17 points, while Walls scored 12 along with nine rebounds as the Reapers rallied from a 10-point deficit at the break and outscored Morris 29-13 during the second half to come away with a hard-fought triumph.
“Our coaches told us at halftime we were going to be the team that puts it to them during the next two quarters or be the team that gives up,” Woodhouse said. “I told myself that we were going to put it to them and not give up, and we didn’t. I’m so proud of our effort tonight.”
Walls was equally confident.
“I had some foul trouble in the first half, but once our team got going in the second half there was no stopping us,” Walls said. “When we found out we had a solid conference team like Morris coming into our gym, we knew we wanted to make a statement as to how good a basketball team we are.
“I think we proved that.”
Plano (5-3, 1-1 in the I-8) also received fine performances from senior Kayla Birdsong, who tossed in eight markers, and sophomore Josie Larson adding five points and a team-best 12 rebounds.
“We came out a little bit flat in the first half, but the message at halftime was let’s give better effort rebounding, getting on the floor diving for the ball, playing solid defense and doing the things we teach in practice,” Plano first-year coach Tristan Spivey said. “They certainly came through, and this was a big comeback win against a good Morris ballclub.
“In the second half, they were focused, ready to go and brought the energy, especially with the efforts from Woodhouse and Walls. We all supported one another down the stretch tonight.”
Morris (6-5, 0-2 I-8) saw a double-double performance of 16 points and a game-best 17 rebounds from freshman standout Landrie Callahan, as well as 12 tallies off the hands of senior Addison Stacy. But Callahan was in foul trouble for most of the second half and was relegated to the bench for almost all of the third period. The Reapers took full advantage.
Morris shot a chilly 17 of 62 (27%) on the night and an ice-cold 6 of 40 (15%) in the second half.
“Obviously it came down to the last two quarters after we had a strong first half,” Morris coach Nick Virgl said. “We had some good looks, but the shots just weren’t falling for us late in the game. Plano was very scrappy and played hard knowing they had to make up a big deficit. So credit to them for coming back to earn the victory.”
Callahan scored 10 points in the first quarter, while Stacy added six — all on layups — as Morris raced out to a 19-11 lead after one period of play. The visitors would increase the margin to 27-17 at the intermission before the Reapers finally came alive in the third stanza.
With Callahan on the bench for almost all of the third quarter with three fouls, Walls tallied seven inside points including a nifty in-the-paint bucket at 3:30 that spurred an 11-2 rally that cut the gap to 29-28 and eventually a 32-32 tie entering the final frame.
“I knew I had to get going and get to the basket,” Walls said. “We got some momentum, tied it up, and there was no stopping us from there.”
Woodhouse buried a right-wing triple at 3:34 of the fourth to give the Reapers a 39-36 lead they’d never relinquish.
“That was my third 3-pointer of the night, I think, and it felt really good to know we had a lead, and we just closed it out from there,” Woodhouse said. “My shot had been off until tonight, and I was proud of the way we all played.
“We gained a lot of confidence with this win. Now we’ve got to keep it going.”