New Albany’s title run began with a 67-40 blowout of Noxubee County Monday night.
The Lady Bulldogs opened on a 17-2 run with seven points from Micha Washington. New Albany’s defense caused a five minute scoring drought for the Lady Tigers, as they only managed four points in the frame. Washington also crashed the boards for the Lady ‘Dawgs, ending with nine rebounds to go with her 12 points. Her aggressiveness in rebounding is an area that head coach John Stroud was pleased to see.
“She rebounded well. We’ve gotten on to her about her rebounding and she finished the job down low,” Stroud said.”They had some big girls down low, so we’re happy with her contribution. Rebounding is all about hustle, and she did that.”
Noxubee came within 10 points before New Albany went on a 15-0 run while creating 12 Lady Tiger turnovers, going up 40-0 at the half.
“It was a great first half. 40-10, can’t get much better than that. We guarded well and moved the ball, making big shots. Anytime you hold a team to 10 points, you have to be happy,” Stroud said.
New Albany’s toughness on defense carried into the second half with Noxubee not scoring until the 5:39 mark, down 49-10.
Jazmine Spears ended with a quiet eight points, and it was different players, like Nyambi Penson who stepped up, making contributions in the win.
Penson finished with 16 points, while Kebrina Lucas created several steals and ended with 13 points. Paris Sanders also contributed from the bench, scoring nine points.
Now 28-0, New Albany awaits the winner of the North Panola-Greenville play-in game. Having already faced North Panola in Pontotoc’s Battle of the Best Tournament in December, Stroud knows what his team has to work on in order to be successful again against a tough opponent.
“They’re very fast and aggressive, and they’re a very good team, Stroud said. “It was a close game as we only won 65-55, and we’ll have to take care of the basketball. Their game is all about fast breaks and turnovers, and that’s an area that we’ll work on. It gets a lot tougher from here, and we know that. Just have to get ready for the next game.”
New Albany will host the North Half tournament, scheduled to start on Friday.
The Lady Bulldogs will open the tournament against either North Panola or Greenwood, followed by Pontotoc vs. Yazoo County. The Lafayette County/Cleveland winner will take on Amory at 7:00 p.m. and Kosciusko vs. the Humphreys County/Rosa Fort winner will round out the first night of the tournament.