New Albany ends TOC with loss

New Albany dropped their final game of the Tournament of Champions on Saturday, falling to Ozark, MO, 56-44.

“It was a very poor performance by the Lady 'Dawgs,” NAHS head coach John Stroud said. “It was a really slow tempo, and they got ahead early. We got down by seven or eight points, and we didn't handle the ball well.”

Jazmine Spears led New Albany with 18 points, followed by Micha Washington with 12 points. The Lady Bulldogs finished the tournament at 1-2, but Stroud hopes the experience they gained from the three-day tournament will help his team when they return to action on Jan. 4.

“We faced fast teams with different styles of play, and they had to adjust to that,” he said. “Hopefully it will help them, but this has shown us our weaknesses and what we need to work on.”

“We know now we just can't walk in and think we're going to win because we're New Albany, but we're going to have to work at it. The level we played against were among the best we will face, and hopefully we'll learn from this and still have a good year.”

Spears earned All-Tournament honors, while Nyambi Penson was a recipient of the “Heart of a Champion” award, given to players who demonstrate the highest level of character, work ethic, sportsmanship and leadership on the court.

New Albany is now 12-2 on the season and will return to action on Jan. 4 against Itawamba.

New Albany  13   8  12  11    44

Ozark           15  11 17  13    56

Leading Scorers: (O) H. Cook 20, C. Howser 10; (NA) Spears 18, Washington 12.

Second Round- Desoto 70 New Albany 56

The Lady Bulldogs dropped their first game of the 2010 season in a 70-56 decision over Desoto, TX Friday night.

Turnovers hurt the Lady 'Dawgs, as they committed 24 in the contest, which led to 27 points off turnovers for the Lady Eagles.

“Their guard play is a lot like Raymond's,” NAHS head coach John Stroud said. “They were big and fast and caused problems for us. We were only down seven at the half, but after that it just kept mounting. You can't have 24 turnovers and win a game.”

Jazmine Spears scored a team-high 21 points for New Albany , while Micha Washington added 15 and Kebrina Lucas 12 points.

New Albany will face Ozark, MO in their final game of the tournament at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“They are a lot like us in that they play more of a half court game,” Stroud said. “I think if we're patient and handle the ball well, we'll have a good chance to win. We just need to make good passes and control the ball.”

The loss is the first for the Lady 'Dawgs in the regular season since falling to Itawamba on Jan. 30, 2009. The key now will be how the Lady Bulldogs will respond after the loss.

“I think this opened their eyes and they will work harder,” Stroud said. “Hopefully we'll be able to turn a negative into a positive, but we'll see after tonight.”

New Albany  8   12  18  18    56

Desoto         17  10  22  22    70

Leading Scorers: (D) J. Jones 23, C. Garner 14; (NA) Spears 21, Washington 15, Lucas 12.

First Round- New Albany 55 Greenwood, AR 51

New Albany advanced to the second round of the Jerry and Sandy Wagner Tournament of Champions in Fort Smith, Ark. after defeating Greenwood, 55-51, Thursday night.

Nyambi Penson scored a game-high 16 points for the Lady Bulldogs, connecting on 4-of-7 three-pointers. Kebrina Lucas finished with 12 points and Micha Washington 11 points and 8 rebounds.

New Albany will next face Desoto, TX, 64-60 winners over Fort Smith Northside. The second round match-up will take place at 8:30 p.m. Friday night.

Greenwood   9   15  12   15    51

New Albany 19  14  11   11    55

Leading Scorers: (G) E. Evans 13, L. Williams 12; (NA) Penson 16, Lucas 12, Washington 11.

About Chris Elkins

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