Albany High star and Herald Super 6er Chasity Mullins, right, and Colquitt County’s Makeba Ponder battled often during the first round of Friday’s DOCO Thanksgiving Shootout at Westover, but Mullins and the Squaws got the better of Ponder and the Lady Packers, 47-39.
ALBANY — With a 6-point lead and two minutes to go in the opening game of Friday afternoon’s DOCO Thanksgiving Shootout, Albany High coach Telly Turner was understandably nervous.
After all, Colquitt County star sophomore Makeba Ponder had just rattled off 11 straight points and was staring down a comeback victory.
Turner told her own star player to stare right back.
Albany High senior and Herald Super 6er Chasity Mullins held Ponder scoreless the rest of the game and led the Lady Squaws to a 47-39 victory.
“I called (Chasity) over and told her she had to finish the game strong,” Turner said. “Once I had that little chat with her about the game depending on her defense, (Ponder) didn’t score any more after that.”
Mullins finished with 10 points and held Ponder, who had a game-high 17 points, scoreless for the entire first half while Albany (1-2) jumped out to an early lead. Ponder, an All-Region 5-A player who averaged nearly 25 points last season, started the game 0-for-8 before finally making a jumper midway through the third quarter. After the game, Mullins said it wasn’t just her that held the Colquitt County star in check in the first half and in the final minutes of the game.
“I did (get a little worn out guarding Ponder), but I knew my teammates had my back so if I got tired they would step up,” Mullins said.
Everybody who stepped on the floor for the Lady Squaws contributed on the offensive end. Junior forward Brianna Washington led the way with a career-high 16 points and six rebounds, while Briana Williams added seven points, Lisa Hollinger and Ladaisha Green each scored five points, and Monique Perkins and JaQueria Glass each had two points.
“(Coach Turner) has a great team. They play very well,” said Colquitt County coach Ronbesha Williams, whose Lady Packers started the season 0-1. “They go inside and out, and (Washington) had a big game for them.”
Washington scored in each quarter and finished the game 5-for-7 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line.
“It’s nice to see some of those things that we have instilled in her show up as a junior,” Turner said. “She was posting up hard, and she did exactly what we needed her to do.”
But Washington was just happy to get the win after opening up the season with losses to Dougherty County and Westover.
“I felt like we played team ball, and that’s the key,” Washington said. “I think we can feed off of this and get better as the season goes along.”
Washington scored on the opening possession of the game to give Albany a lead it never relinquished. It took the Lady Packers more than seven minutes to hit a field goal as the Squaws took an 8-6 lead into the second quarter. Albany outscored Colquitt County 13-4 in the second quarter for a halftime lead of 21-10. The Lady Packers outscored Albany 12-11 in the third quarter and 17-15 in the fourth quarter.
Behind Ponder, Colquitt County’s top scorers were Kwantesha Love with 12 points and Janice Sailor with seven.
In today’s second day of the two-day shootout, Albany will play Terrell County at 4 p.m., Colquitt County will play Randolph-Clay at 5:30 p.m., Monroe will play Maclay at 7 p.m. and Westover will play Coffee County at 8:30 p.m.
All games will be played at Westover High School. Admission is $6, and it includes all four games.
WESTOVER GIRLS 46, MACCLAY 36: The Lady Patriots gave Albany native Precious Hall a rude homecoming Friday — but that doesn’t mean they weren’t glad to see she was still doing well.
Hall, a former Albany Middle School star who left the area before high school and moved to Tallahassee, Fla., where she enrolled at Maclay, scored a game-high 23 points in her return, but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Patriots improved to 4-0 with a 10-point win against one of Florida’s top private schools.
Hall has already signed to play for George Mason next season, but she alone couldn’t stop the two-headed monster of DyTiesha Dunson and Ieshia Young — both Herald Super 6ers — as Dunson scores 16 and pulled down five rebounds, while Young added 15 and Shanteria Williams dominated the boards with 12 rebounds.
COFFEE COUNTY GIRLS 59, TERRELL COUNTY 36: The Lady Greenwave fell hard, despite 17 points from leading scorer Takerian Jordan.
Terrell will try to rebound today against Albany in Game 2 of the DOCO Thanksgiving Shootout at 4 p.m.
MONROE 66, RANDOLPH-CLAY 43: Adriana Blackmon exploded for 22 points for the Lady Red Devils, but it couldn’t match Herald Super 6er Sheniqua Young’s 26 and 15 from Cessily Colwell as the Lady Tornadoes downed Randolph-Clay in a meeting of two of the area’s top girls teams.
Monroe returns to the court today against Maclay at 7 p.m., while Randolph-Clay will play Colquitt at 5:30 p.m.