Led by just two points at half
By KEVIN PRICE
The end result was a 24-point rout. It wasn’t that easy for the sixth-ranked Central Lady Red Devils.
Central led by only two points at halftime, but the Lady Red Devils held Dothan to 11 points in the second half en route to a 63-39 victory in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
With the win, Central advanced to Tuesday’s regional round at Alabama State in Montgomery. The Lady Red Devils will play either Carver-Montgomery or Prattville at 4 p.m.
“The spark came from the halftime talk we had,” Central coach Carolyn Wright said. “I told them we could either start playing or pack it up and go home.”
Wright was especially disappointed in her team’s defense in the first half. Dothan continually split Central’s trapping defense and beat the Lady Red Devils on the offensive boards.
The results was that Central led just 30-28 at the intermission, and that was thanks to Jimecheia Banks’ running one-hander in the lane at the buzzer.
Kristi Mokube kept Central in the game in the first half, scoring 12 of her game-high 15 points in the first two quarters.
“Dothan came to play in the first half,” Wright said. “They were hustling.
“I told our team at halftime we have got to start playing our defense.”
Her players listened and held Dothan to two long dry spells in the second half.
The first came to start the third quarter as Dothan turned the ball over on nearly every trip down court before finally making a shot at the 2:48 mark. But by then, Central had expanded its lead to nine, 39-30.
Dothan’s Jasmine Cantlope made a 3-pointer with 6:05 left in the fourth quarter to bring Dothan to within 12, 49-37. Central scored 11 straight points while holding Dothan scoreless for 4:13.
Central led 60-37 when Dothan finally broke its long dry spell at the 1:52 mark.
Monique Jackson finished with 13 points after scoring just two in the first half. She and Mokube both had double-doubles as Mokube grabbed 14 rebounds and Jackson had 13.
B’Kyia Webb had 11 points for Central.
Central advanced to the regional finals last year before losing to Jeff Davis.
@z-BR Agate Bold Centered:Thursday at Central
Dothan 8 20 6 5--39
Central 10 20 16 17--63
Jasmine Cantlope 13, Jackson 9, McLoyd 2, Anderson 1, Crews 7, Anderson 2, Stallworth 5
Thomas 5, Moore 1, Beasley 2, Banks 6, Sanders 7, Monique Jackson 12, Kristi Mokube 15, LKewis 4, B’Kyia Webb 11
Team records: Dothan 14-8. Central 23-4. Next: Dothan season over. Central Tuesday 4 p.m. at Alabama State in regional semifinal.