The Wildcats often found themselves trapped or forced into ill-advised skip passes from the corner that Woodland would pick off and turn into easy transition buckets at the other end.
“We committed eight turnovers in the first quarter,” White Plains coach Chris Randall said.
“Then, we only committed four in the second and third quarters combined. (Early on) we kept trying to pass the ball through peoples’ hands. I kept telling them, a hand is a thing and you can’t pass the ball through a thing.”
White Plains held a narrow 15-12 lead after one mainly due to the stellar play of Logan Giddens. Giddens scored the Wildcats last eight points of the quarter, putting the ball in the hole in a variety of ways including an offensive rebound and a baseline jumper.
Giddens, a 6-foot, 180-pound junior led the way for the Wildcats with 14 points and eight rebounds. Konner Amis scored 13.
“Logan does all the dirty work,” Randall said. “My favorite thing about Logan is that I can coach him hard. He’s mentally tough. He let’s one go and it’s, ‘Hey, let’s make the next play.’”
White Plains took a 29-27 lead into the half and came out gunning in the third quarter.
They put together a 15-4 run start the quarter, highlighted by three pointers by Giddens and point guard Dylan Randall, who finished with nine points and seven assists. Jonathan Bradshaw also scored nine for the Wildcats.
The spurt gave White Plains a double-digit lead at 44-33 with 4:03 left in the third quarter.
“That killed us,” Woodland coach Stephen Bailey said. “They hit some threes and it really put the game out of reach.”
White Plains improved to 4-0 overall after defeating Sacred Heart 52-37 to advance to the final. They host Class 2A Westbrook Christian Thursday night.
“This team is still young,” Chris said. “We needed to come out and get some wins early in the season at home because we go on the road next week.”
Woodland (1-1) defeated Pleasant Valley in their semifinals game earlier.
Stephen Strain’s 18 points paced the Bobcats followed by Zach Barron’s 11 points and Rickey Stephens’s 10. They’ll host White Plains Tuesday.
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.