After an undefeated regular season in division play, both New Albany squads continued their dominance in Region 1-4A with a sweep of the division championships last Friday night.
The Lady Bulldogs remained perfect on the season with their 54-31 win over North Pontotoc. New Albany opened on a 15-0 run, but the Lady Vikings would cut into that lead with four points off the bench from Andrea Lewis.
Nyambi Penson would help extend New Albany’s lead in the second frame with eight points, finishing with 14 in the contest, 12 off of triples.
Jamzine Spears led all scorers with 17 points, while Micha Washington added 14 in the win, which is the second division title in a row for the Lady ‘Dawgs. Now looking ahead, New Albany will host North Half, starting with an early week tilt against Noxubee County.
“Our girls are just trying to make this an eight game season now,” NAHS head coach John Stroud said. “We’re trying to put this 25-0 behind us, and we have two games down, six to go. We came in tonight and played pretty good defense, only holding them to 31 points. On offense, we moved the ball pretty well and had some good shots. Overall, we took care of business.”
Most importantly for the Lady ‘Dawgs is the return of Porche White and Paris Sanders, who both sat out the final week of the regular season with injuries.
“Porche played a lot tonight, but Paris is still a little bothered. They’re gradually getting back in there, and that helps the entire team,” Stroud said.
Flying under the radar this season are the Bulldogs, who matched the accomplishments of the girls by going undefeated in division play while picking up the tournament title.
“Well, I would like to keep flying under the radar, to be honest,” NAHS head coach Brad Gray said. “They’ve worked hard, and they’ve given max effort every night. The key is that we’ve had someone different step up every night, and that’s the mark of a good team. I think that’s what we are right now.”
Pontotoc opened the contest with a pair of free throws and after a quick response from Tadarious Coburn, the Warriors would lead one more time before Devonte Berry took over, scoring 10 of New Albany’s 20 first quarter points. The Bulldogs would lead by 13 at the half and would close out the game at the free throw line, going 15-for-20 in the fourth quarter. Gray noted the accomplishment of New Albany sweeping the division tournament, as it is an exciting time for both squads.
“It’s always good for our school when you win championships. I think everyone expected our girls to be the front runners for the division, but I’m proud to be at New Albany, “Gray said. “Winning a division championship is always a big accomplishment, especially with our boys and how far they’ve come in two years. I’m really proud of them.”
NAHS will host Kosciusko on Tuesday night in the first round of North Half.