Different faces stepped up in a big way for the Lady Bulldogs, as they earned another divisional win, defeating North Pontotoc, 72-39, Monday night.
New Albany has fought through a tough stretch of four games in the last six days to remain undefeated, but the the Lady 'Dawgs were challenged early by the hot shooting of Andrea Lewis. The Lady Vikings' sophomore scored 10 of her team's 12 first quarter points, with New Albany holding a four-point advantage at the end of the frame.
“She's a really good player, and she just shredded our defense,” NAHS head coach John Stroud said. “We weren't moving our feet and moving back on defense, and she had a good quarter. As the game moved on, she only had four points in the second half, because we guarded her in the second half. She's a good player.”
With the normal standouts, Micha Washington and Jazmine Spears only scoring four points apiece in the first half, it was the play of Porche White that helped lead the state's top ranked team. The senior scored seven first half points, finishing with a team-high 14, while connecting on two three-pointers in the contest. Behind White was senior Caroline Stroud, who matched Spears final tally of 10 points, including two triples in a third quarter that saw New Albany outscore the Lady Vikings, 30-8.
“It's just seniors deciding to step up, and the 30-point third quarter was the difference in the game,” Stroud said. “Our biggest weakness as a team is that we'll play down pretty quickly to the other team. We can go down to their level pretty easily, and that's what we've got to fight.”
The Lady Bulldogs started the second half on a 10-0 run before Chelsea Mabry scored the first basket for North Pontotoc with four minutes remaining in the frame. That basket was the only one for the 6'3 sophomore, and Lewis finished the game with a game-high 18 points, 14 in the first half, while Arrian Henry followed with 11 points. The duo were the only scorers for North Pontotoc in the first half, accounting for all of the Lady Vikings' 23 points. Lewis and Henry were shut down in the second half, only scoring six of North Pontotoc's 17 points over the final two quarters.
New Albany (11-0, 4-0) will travel to Fort Smith, Ark. this weekend to participate in the Jerry and Sandy Wagner Tournament of Champions. The Lady Bulldogs will open with the defending 5A state champions of Arkansas, Greenwood High School, at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.
New Albany 81 North Pontotoc 63 (boys)
The Bulldogs won their second straight division game after falling at Shannon last Thursday, defeating North Pontotoc, 81-63.
New Albany jumped to a 33-18 lead after the first quarter, starting with a 9-0 run that prompted an early North Pontotoc timeout. Tadarius Coburn led the 'Dawgs with 11 points in the frame, including three triples. Malcolm Spears carried the momentun in the seocnd, leading with 11 points, as New Albany took a 56-38 lead to the break.
Coburn and Spears led New Albany (10-2, 3-1) with 17 points each, followed by 12 points by Daniel Drummond.
D.J .Mayfield led North Pontotoc with 11 points, followed by Javonnis Garmon and Chris Bryant with 10 points a piece.
This marked the final game of 2010 for the Bulldogs, who will next play against Itawamba on Jan. 4.