Islands High is having a tough time in its first year in tough Region 3-AAAAA. It didn’t get any easier for the Lady Sharks on Tuesday in Hinesville, as they fell to region leader Bradwell Institute 81-4.
Bradwell (13-0, 7-0) took command early. The Lady Tigers were up 29-0 at the end of the first quarter and led 56-2 at halftime.
Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker said she spoke with the Sharks’ coaching staff before the game and learned that none of the Sharks’ players had any varsity game experience.
“When you are looking at something like that, it’s going to take you a while to build a program,” Baker said. “You can’t teach experience and we can understand that. But I commend his girls because they had a good attitude, they went out there and didn’t quit and that is a good thing.”
Lady Shark Nicolette Weiner scored all four points for Islands.
With a big lead, Baker gave her starters a rest early in the contest and cleared the bench to see how well her reserves would handle extended playing time.
“I was pleased with the play of our second unit,” she said. “They went in and gave a good effort. I also thought our first unit did what they are supposed to do. They were very unselfish with the ball. Anytime someone was open they were making sure they were getting the ball in the right person’s hands at the right time.”
Shaquioa Crockett and Mariah Maternik led the Lady Tigers with 21 and 20 points respectively.
Maternik slid into the No. 1 spot in class AAAAA in scoring for Georgia, according to maxpreps.com. She was previously No. 2.
Baker’s girls were also listed as No. 9 in class AAAAA in the latest Atlantic Journal Constitution poll released Jan. 9.
Baker said she knows the games get harder from here on as they prepare for Savannah High, Beach and Johnson.
“It’s going to be a battle,” she said. “We go to Savannah High Friday night and that game is going to be tough. Quintunya Chapman was out tonight because of the flu and we are sorry that she is down right now but we are definitely glad the schedule is the way it is so that we will have her back by Friday’s game.”
According to the AJC.com rankings, Stephenson sits just above the BI squad at No. 8. While poll listings usually don’t concern Baker, she said knowing Stephenson is just above her squad is something she’s keeping an eye on.
“Stephenson has been a thorn in my side ever since 2003,” she said with a smile. “We met them three different times and each time they have put us out of a state tournament. They are definitely a team we would like to see again one day.”
Baker said being ranked is good for the program, but tells her team what happens on the court is what really matters.
“We just want to stay level headed and make them understand that we have to continue to play hard,” she said. “Everybody is trying to do the same thing we are trying to do, which is improve.”
The Lady Tigers tip-off at Savannah High at 7 tonight. They host Beach on Tuesday and travel to Johnson next Friday.
Lady Tigers 29|27|17|8-81
Lady Sharks 0|2|2|0-4
BI top scorers: Shaquoia Crockett 21, Kandice Bolden 4, Latisha Frasier 2, Leitia Leiataua 4, Mariah Maternik 20, Symone May 2, Chastity Lockett 4, Akeyla Richardson 6, KeAndra Frasier 10, Quanika Hatchell 6, Brittany Terrell 2