A second half surge gave the Lady ‘Dawgs a first round win in the 4A North Half playoffs Tuesday night.
Head coach John Stroud watched as his team built a 10-2 lead early on only to have Rosa Fort tie the contest late in the frame and take their only lead in the second. Clinging to a 27-22 lead at the half, New Albany broke away in the third quarter, leading to the 65-48 win.
“We couldn’t finish tonight,” Stroud said. “We got fouled on lay-ups and couldn’t finish the lay-ups, but I’m pleased with our defense. They had 22 points at halftime, and they had 48 for the game, so that was good.”
Jazmine Spears led New Albany in the first quarter, scoring 12 of the Lady ‘Dawgs 15 points. Ahead 15-13 in the second, NA built a seven-point lead, which was followed by an 8-0 Rosa Fort run, giving them the brief 23-22 lead.
Things turned around for New Albany in the second half, as they went on an 11-0 run, going ahead by 17. The Lady Bulldogs outscored Rosa Fort 38-26 in the second half, shooting 22-for-45 in the game.
Spears recorded a double double with 29 points and 15 rebounds, and Kebrina Lucas added 10 points for New Albany, who will next face Noxubee County on Thursday. The Lady Bulldogs defeated the Lady Tigers, 67-40, in the playoffs last season.
“It was a good win. The girls were kind of nonchalant in the first half, and then they started playing. It’s going to be tough with three games this weekend, if we’re able to play that many,” Stroud said. “All the games are tough from here on out, so we’ll have to come in and play our best”
New Albany 70 Center Hill 54(boys)
Tadarious Coburn scored 22 points in the Bulldogs’ first round win over Center Hill.
Ahead 15-5 after the first quarter, Coburn scored seven of his 16 first half points, helping the ‘Dawgs take a 29-13 lead. Jabarri Fisher’s three-point play cut the deficit to 13 at the half, 29-16, as the senior scored seven points in the quarter.
The Bulldogs scored the first six points in the third and remained dominant throughout the half, despite a late rally attempt by the Mustangs.
Fisher made it a 10-point game late, but the Bulldogs scored the final six points of the contest to advance to their Thursday night game against Yazoo County.
Devonte Berry followed Coburn, adding 14 points for the Bulldogs, while Kareem Brown scored 11 points, hitting 6-of-6 free throws in the fourth.
Ontario Brown led Center Hill with 17 points, followed by 13 points from Jaquon Mullins and 11 points from both Fisher and Johnny Scales.
Both the ‘Dawgs and Lady ‘Dawgs’ games for Thursday are scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip, with the girls playing at Pontotoc and the boys at home.