Pelham girls punish Terrell, stay perfect

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

PELHAM -- It usually takes an alarm to wake someone up.

So when the Pelham girls basketball team found itself up by only one point at halftime, 12-11, against Terrell County on Friday, the Lady Hornets decided it was time to pay attention.

And Herald Super 6er D'Ambria Thomas was there to play the bugle.

Thomas scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Pelham defeated the Lady Greenwave, 43-22, on Friday to improve to 5-0.

"(D'Ambria) usually takes the initiative when we're down. She just takes over. That's our mentality and I let her do it because she can do it," Pelham head coach Antonia Tookes said. "She gets everybody else fired up. She'll pop up on the bench and she'll be like, 'Let's go!' She's ready to play. If I can get everybody ready to play like her, we won't have to fight so hard (to get a win)."

The Pelham girls shot 5-for-30 in the first half, compared to Terrell's 4-for-23 mark. Thomas was 2-for-11 at that point, so Tookes knew her star point guard had to step up if her team was going to stay undefeated.

"I told them that we are 4-0; everybody wants a loss from us. That makes them look good, so we have to hold our ground," said Tookes, whose team led 7-6 after the first quarter. "We worked too hard to get to 4-0, and we're not losing this. So I asked them if they were going to (get a) win, and they said 'We're going to win.' So we came out and got on a little run."

That they did.

Thomas converted two three-point plays to start the second half and assisted on the next score as the Lady Hornets went on a 9-0 run to jump out to a 21-11 lead with 5:39 left, and they held the Lady Greenwave to 11 points the rest of the way.

"At the end of the first half, we were right where we needed to be, but the second half we just (fell apart)," said Terrell County head coach Tammye Jenkins, whose team fell to 1-4 this year. "All of our losses this season have been (determined) in the second half. We have to learn how to finish."

DeAndrea Mitchell was 1-for-22 for Terrell County, but also had 11 rebounds, while Cortisha Schley was the Lady Greenwave's leading scorer with eight points and Jaleesa Richardson added 10 rebounds.

But it wasn't enough to match Pelham, which got 13 points and nine rebounds from Octavia Kierce and eight points and eight rebounds from Ta'Shaunessy Reese.

"We really wanted the game. We just felt the urge that we needed to win it and get to a 5-0 record," said Thomas, who also had five steals and four assists. "We have trust in each other, and (it paid off)."

The Lady Hornets face Quitman County today, while Terrell has a huge game against Monroe.



Terel Hall had six steals in the first half as the Greenwave defense held off a late surge by the Hornets in the fourth quarter to get their third win in as many games.

Hall finished with 11 points, nine steals and five assists for Terrell County, which faces its biggest test of the season today against Monroe.

"It's our third game, and we're coming together. Everybody else has played more than three games (at this point), so we're trying to get it all together," Terrell County head coach John Davis said. "Our expectations are high as far as steals are concerned -- at least two or three guys have eight or nine steals a game -- so they're working toward the (main) goal (for the season)."

Pelham threatened at the end of the third quarter, as it cut Terrell's lead to 52-42 after starter Raymondo Armstrong's third 3-pointer in as many trips down the floor, but the Greenwave went on a 10-2 run to start the fourth.

"Turnovers killed us, and just the mental aspect (of the game)," Pelham head coach Laron Smith said. "We turned the ball over way too much, and you can't do that against Terrell and expect to win. They play tough half-court defense, so you have to limit their possessions and make sure they don't (capitalize). We gave them too many opportunities."

Senior guard Charles Brown added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Greenwave -- who finished with 20 steals -- and said his team is confident heading into today's showdown with the Tornadoes.

"They got some trees," Brown said. "They have height over there, so we just have to play hard (and use our quickness to gain an advantage)."

Brian Browner (10 points) and Dekoven Ware (12 points) also contributed for Terrell County, while Armstrong led Pelham (1-4) with 12 points and five rebounds, Dominique Brown added 11 points and Darius Thomas had 10.

"We have to play hard, because there are no cake walks right now," said Smith, whose team goes on the road against Quitman today. "We have to learn how to win, so if we can go over there and play hard, we'll be OK."