Monroe senior guard Cessiley Colwell drives past a McClay defender in Saturday’s final day of the DOCO Thanksgiving Shootout. Colwell had 12 points in the Lady Tornadoes’ 54-41 victory, which was their second of the tournament.
ALBANY — The Monroe Lady Tornadoes appeared to be in a dogfight Saturday night against McClay High School.
At halftime, Monroe had a one-point advantage after both teams spent the half frustrating each other on defense.
Then came the second half where the Lady Tornadoes gradually pulled away from their opponent before securing the victory, 54-41.
“I think we settled down in the second half and began to get into our offense,” Monroe head coach Cheryl Cheeks said.
Largely featured in that offense was senior Sheniqua Young, who knocked down four second-half 3-pointers, putting a significant gap in the score.
“She hit some big threes and that was a big momentum swing,” McClay head coach Raphael Harris said. “That kind of threw us off a little, and we tried to crawl back into it, but we just didn’t have enough time.”
Young finished with 14 points, while Cessiley Colwell chipped in 12 points and Alexandra Childs scored 11.
“In the first half I wasn’t very confident with my shot,” Young said. “But in the second half my coach gave me confidence and I just shot and it kept dropping. Overall, I am very satisfied with the win because it showed how our team can improve with every game we play.”
Senior guard Precious Hall led the way for the Lady Mauraders with 17 points. Kenya Pye contributed 10 points.
McClay did put together a late run but was ultimately unable to get the necessary stops on defense to complete the comeback.
The win was the second in two nights for the Lady Tornadoes, who were coming off a victory against Randolph-Clay Friday night. With region play beginning Tuesday, Monroe looks to improve in certain areas of its play.
“This game gives us an opportunity to see what we need to work on,” Cheeks said. “It gives us an idea of our weak points and where we need to go from here.”
COLQUITT COUNTY GIRLS 54, RANDOLPH-CLAY 45: Looking to atone from a Friday night loss, the Randolph Clay Lady Devils needed a big game from their seniors.
They got just the opposite as they fell Saturday night to Colquitt County, 54-45.
“They were able to pull away in the second half because the majority of the half I had to play three freshmen,” Randolph-Clay head coach Jennifer Acree explained. “Some of the upperclassmen didn’t want to do what they needed to do, so we had to go with some younger girls.”
Juniors Kanieka Washington and Whenika Washington did their part with 18 points and 11 points, respectively. Adriana Blackmon finished with nine points before fouling out.
“I had hope in my teammates, but, in the end, it did not turn out like we expected,” Blackmon said.
Colquitt’s Makeba Ponder dominated the game with 29 points. Teammate Kwante’sha Love added 13 points.
“A lot of her shots were open, and she’s a real good player so I expect her to make open shots,” Acree said. “But on defense, I don’t expect us to give up open shots.”
The Lady Devils trailed 21-18 at halftime. Not only could Randolph-Clay not keep up with all the adjustments it tried to make, but the Lady Devils could not contain Ponder, who did much of her damage in the second half.
The game, however, was never out of reach. Randolph-Clay just couldn’t defend its opponent when it mattered most.
“Not to make excuses, but when you’re playing those younger players you’re going to have those bumps in your defense,” Acree said. “When we play we make mistakes but they are all correctable mistakes.”
ALBANY GIRLS 50, TERRELL COUNTY 32: The Albany High Lady Squaws had an impressive outing against the Terrell County Lady Greenwave.
Led by Chasity Mullins’ 20 points, the Squaws blew out Terrell County, 50-32. Albany’s Briana Williams dropped in 18 points.
The Lady Greenwave were led by Nydrah Wright, who had 12 points, and Takerian Jordan, who finished with nine points.
WESTOVER GIRLS 47, COFFEE COUNTY 34: DyTiesha Dunson scored 29 points to lead the Lady Patriots to their second win in two days in the tournament. Westover, which also got 11 points from Ieshia Young, improved to 5-0.
ALL-SHOOTOUT TEAM: Donson was selected as the tournament MVP, while eight players were named to the All-Shootout Team — Coffee County’s Kierra Kitchings, Westover’s Young, McClay’s Precious Hall, Terrell County’s Nydrah Wright, Albany’s Mullins, Colquitt County’s Ponder, Randolph-Clay’s Blackmon and Monroe’s Young.
CALHOUN BOYS, DOUGHERTY GIRLS WIN TOURNAMENT TITLES: The Dougherty girls and the Calhoun County boys basketball teams each won the Calhoun County Thanksgiving Tournament on Saturday night.
The Dougherty girls defeated Calhoun County, 55-24, in the championship game, while the Calhoun County boys defeated Dougherty in the title game, 74-69.