Micha Washington stepped to the line and delivered for the Lady Bulldogs, as they defeated Briarcrest, 39-37 Saturday night.
The Lady Saints had an opportunity to capitalize on a late turnover with less than a minute remaining, and Washington’s shots from the penalty stripe helped the Lady Bulldogs remain undefeated on the young season.
Much like their double overtime win over the Memphis-based school in 2009, New Albany was challenged and turnovers hurt the Lady Bulldogs, along with sophomore Jazmine Spears getting in early foul trouble in the first half.
“Jazmine getting in foul trouble early hurt us, but it’s good for us in the future because it made some of our oldest girls realize that they have to step up and play and not rely on her to carry the team the whole game,” NAHS assistant coach Alicia Pickens said. “You know it was a good learning experience. Wasn’t a pretty win, but a win none the less, and we’ll take it.”
New Albany recorded 24 turnovers in the game, seven by each Nyambi Penson and Porche White, but the Lady Bulldogs took a 23-11 lead to the half. Opening the third quarter on a 17-0 run, the Lady Saints took the lead and challenged the nation’s 22nd ranked team for the remainder of the contest.
“We did not play our game, we were mentally not awake or prepared, and we didn’t have our heads in the game,” Pickens said. “Briarcrest came out and played hard, and we knew they were a good fundamentally sound team, and we didn’t do the fundamentals. We set a goal this season to keep turnovers down to under 12 per game, so when you double that you are going to end up in a bad situation.”
Washington led New Albany (6-0) win 11 points.
New Albany 64 Briarcrest 59 (boys)
Tadarius Coburn’s 23 points led the Bulldogs in their win over Briarcrest Saturday night.
NAHS only trailed after the first quarter (15-11) before Coburn led NAHS in the second quarter to take the lead.
New Albany will host Ingomar this week.
-Shenequa Simpson contributed with this story