Aspriona Gilbert lived up to the hype as she had 24 points in Myrtle’s 50-49 upset over New Albany Friday night.
The Lady Hawks took advantage of Jazmine Spears’ early foul trouble, as the Lady ‘Dawgs leader picked up her third foul at the 6:05 mark in the second quarter.
“We’re a different team when Jazmine’s on the floor,” NAHS head coach John Stroud said. “We were able to build a six to eight point lead when she was on the court both times, but when she only plays 15 to 16 minutes of a 32 minute game, it hurts us.”
“We can’t take credit for stopping Jazmine,” Myrtle head coach Chris Greer said Monday. “She got into early foul trouble, but she still did a good job when she was in. She’s a great player. She just didn’t get the playing time she’s used to.”
New Albany held a three-point lead after the first frame before Myrtle came back in the second to tie the game at 22 at the half.
The Lady Bulldogs outscored Myrtle 14-9 in the third, but Greer credits Gilbert, along with Elizabeth Cobb and Keanna Cox for helping the Lady Hawks down the stretch.
“I would say we get an A for our effort in the game, and a C in execution, as we had too many turnovers,” Greer said. “Aspriona was crucial for us down the stretch before she fouled out. Keanna made some key free throws for us, four in a row, and Elizabeth did a good job of guarding Kabrina Lucas all night. We did a good job and this was a big win.”
“We did everything to give the game away,” Stroud said. “From fouls to turnovers to missed freethrows, we had a lot of bad things happen. Give Myrtle credit because they played a good game down the stretch.”
Micha Washington led the Lady Bulldogs with 19, followed by Lucas with 10.
The Lady Hawks improve to 18-3 on the season.
Myrtle will play at Strayhorn Tuesday night before facing off against West Union on the first night of the Union County Tournament on Thursday.
“We have to take it one game at a time right now,” Greer said. “We have Strayhorn on Tuesday before we faceoff against West Union again. We can’t overlook West Union in the tournament. They’re a good team and we can’t look ahead to a possible rematch with New Albany.”
For the Lady Bulldogs, they now stand at 15-1 and will not play again until Friday, the second day of the Union County Tourney, where they will face off against the winner of Thursday’s Ingomar-East Union showdown.
“We’re going to work on freethrows and taking better care of the ball,” Stroud said. “We’ll find out how we will respond after our first loss, and see if we’ve learned something.”