Despite trailing at halftime, the Central girls basketball team still felt comfortable about its game plan in the second half.
A couple of adjustments to open up opportunities in the paint paid off, and the Lady Red Devils pulled out a 56-47 win to advance to the third round. They will face Columbus at 2 p.m. Monday at Carver.
In the first half, Spencer’s interior presence limited Central’s opportunities in the paint, forcing shots further away from the basket, which didn’t connect a large portion of the team. Central trailed by one at the end of both the first and second quarters before making changes at the break.
“They were sitting back down inside earlier in the game, so we had to spread things out,” Central coach Carolyn Wright said after the game.
The changes worked. The paint opened up for penetration by Kedsha Glance and Jakoria Hickson, who finished with 17 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the team. Central went ahead 30-28 with a three-pointer early in the third quarter and never relinquished the lead after that. A 15-7 run in the fourth quarter extended its lead to 14. Spencer finished with five straight points, but didn’t have enough time to make a serious run.
“We wanted to get the first game under our belt,” Wright said. “We played a little out of character, missing some passes and some shots, but I attribute that to being the first game in the tournament.”
Spencer got 15 points from Alexus Griffin and 10 points from Tatyana Griffin to lead the way in the losing effort. With the loss, Spencer falls to the consolation game, where it will face Brookstone at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jordan.
Northside 70, Brookstone 31
The Lady Patriots scored a second-round victory over Brookstone behind 17 points from Brianna Davis and 16 from Jessica Herndon. With the win, Northside advances to the third round, where it will face top seed Columbus at 6 p.m. Monday at Carver.
Brookstone, which was led by Neshia Thomas’ 10 points, falls to a consolation game against Spencer at 2 p.m. Saturday at Jordan.
Kendrick 75, Columbus 35
The Kendrick girls used big first and third quarters to run away from the Lady Tigers on Friday at Jordan in the Shaw tournament. Deja Cheatham led the way for the Lady Cherokees with 23 points, followed by Kahlia Lawrence with 18 and Taylor Farley with 12.
With the win, Kendrick moves on to face Central in the third round at 2 p.m. Monday at Carver.
The loss sends Carver to the consolation bracket, where it will face Brookstone at 2 p.m. Saturday at Carver.
Columbus 49, Hardaway 10
A strong defensive effort gave the top-seeded Lady Blue Devils an easy victory over Hardaway on Friday at Carver.
Columbus allowed zero points in the first quarter and only 10 points the entire game. It was led in scoring by Tatyan Wyatt, Alexia Manning and Jaqueria Gunter, who scored 12, 12 and 11 points, respectively.
With the win, the Lady Blue Devils move on to the third round, where they will face Northside at 6 p.m. Monday at Carver. Hardaway will play a consolation game against Carver at 2 p.m. Saturday at Carver.
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Friday at Carver
Central 13 12 16 15—56
Spencer 14 12 9 12—47
Kedsha Glande 17, Jakoria Hickson 12, Ficklin 7, Spencer 5, Faniel 4, Vance 4, Ellis 3, Banks 2, Howard 2.
Alexus Griffin 15, Tatyana Griffin 10, Garrett 8, Elmore 7, Walmsley 5, Harris 2.
Next: Central, Monday vs. Kendrick; Spencer, Saturday vs. Brookstone.
Friday at Jordan
Brookstone 5 7 10 9—31
Northside 16 15 19 20—70
Neshia Thomas 10, Long 6, McCormick 6, Moore 4, Brown 2, McCluskey 2, Stephens 1.
Brianna Davis 17, Jessica Herndon 16, Brantley 9, Ja. Herndon 8, Gahagan 7, Burgos 3, Wiley 3, T. Jakes 3, C. Jakes 2, Cole 2.
Next: Brookstone, Saturday vs. Spencer; Northside, Monday vs. Columbus.
Friday at Jordan
Kendrick 22 19 28 6—75
Carver 6 10 11 8—35
Deja Cheatham 23, Kahlia Lawrence 18, Taylor Farley 12, Thompson 8, Baker 8, McKissic 3, Jones 2.
Johnson 8, Givens 7, Burns 5, Smith 4, Brown 4, Turner 2, Millner 2, Weeks 1, Norris 1, Walton 1.
Next: Kendrick, Monday vs. Central; Carver, Saturday vs. Hardaway.
Friday at Carver
Columbus 15 15 12 7—49
Hardaway 0 3 4 3—10
Tatyan Wyatt 12, Alexia Manning 12, Jaqueria Gunter 11, Lloyd 5, McIntosh 4, Hayes 4, Griffin 1.
Wells 3, Perry 2, Lewis 2, Lacy 2, Pipkins 1.
Next: Columbus, Monday vs. Northside; Hardaway, Saturday vs. Carver.