The Liberty County High School girls’ basketball team used speed and defense to earn a 47-29 win over Bradwell Institute in a scrimmage Tuesday night at BI.
The Lady Panthers held high-scoring sophomore point guard Shaquoia Crockett to two points.
Last season, Crockett was the second-leading scorer for the Lady Tigers behind Mariah Maternik, who
Lady Panthers coach Carolyn Kelly said her girls still have a long way to go and the defense was sketchy in spots, but she added that they were able to stick to their game plan against coach Faye Baker’s Lady Tigers.
“We tried to go to a 3-2. That was our main goal tonight because we know that Faye has a well-rounded team and an excellent point guard. We knew from the beginning that we couldn’t cover her in a man defense,” she said. “We had to stay in some type of zone to maintain her but also have our zone spread out so we could also get to the shooters she has on the outside.”
Trailing, 6-5, at the end of the first period, Liberty County capitalized on a few Bradwell turnovers and commanded the boards to outscore the Lady Tigers, 20-3, in the second period.
“We did a few things right. Our strength is our fast break because we are so fast, but we didn’t do a great job in running the offense, so that is something we have to go back and work on,” Kelly said. “If we can’t score off the fast break, then we have to be patient enough and disciplined enough to set up an offense and run it through, and we didn’t do that at all tonight.”
“(Liberty County) did an excellent job and their kids played well when they needed to,” Baker said. “We were just ice cold tonight. We couldn’t even buy a basket for some reason, and that’s the game — sometimes it’s like that. I’m satisfied with the effort. ... I thought they hustled really well, but things didn’t go in our favor.”
Baker said her offense still is not flowing like it should, but she added that it still is early in the season.
“We need to do a better job of blocking out, and they hurt us on the boards tonight,” Baker said.
Both squads struggled at the line.
“We were 11 of 33 from the line, so that is 22 missed opportunities right there, and we lost by 18,” Baker said. “So this was a good learning experience and we talked about it after the game.”
The Lady Panthers were 16 of 32 from the stripe.
“We’ve always been a poor free-throw team, and that comes down to concentration. And I vow that this year we are going to have to do a better job,” Kelly said. “We’ve lost a few ball games in past years due to free throws, so we definitely have to work on that.”
The scrimmage gave the coaches an opportunity to evaluate their players before the regular season begins next week. Kelly had newcomers Brianna Reece and Emone Fisher come in as starters, and later Kymberli Payno had some minutes coming off the bench for the Lady Panthers.
Kelly said Fisher played well defensively and didn’t have any turnovers. Reece finished with nine points while Payno had eight.
Senior Jasmina Smith led LCHS with 10 points.
“I wanted to get a look at some of our newer and younger players that just came in to our program, and I have a combination of guards that can start at any given time. ... Tonight the first five that I started really showed me they could crush the boards and can get things done,” Kelly said.
Lady Tiger Latisha Frasier led the BI girls with six points. Brittany Terrell and Symone May chipped in five points each, covering the inside and hitting the net on passes from Crockett.
Baker said BI will use the next two weeks to get ready for its rematch against Liberty on Nov. 22 — and that game will count.
“We get an opportunity to play them again at the Joe Greene Tournament, and hopefully we will see how we’ve improved by then,” Baker said.
Liberty has two games next week. On Tuesday, the Lady Panthers will travel to Long County. On Friday, they play Beach High in Savannah.
Liberty County: Jasmina Smith 10, Brianna Reece 9, Tiara Howard 9, Kymberli Payno 6, Courtney Rhodes 6, Diamone Johnson 4, Bryanna Graham 3.
Bradwell: Latisha Frasier 6, Brittany Terrell 5, Symone May 5, Akayla Richardson 4, Leitia Leatuau 3, Shaquoia Crockett 2, Kelissa Hargrove 2, Treniece Boles 2.