Mitchell County’s Shonbreka Holton, left, and Lee County’s Kayla Cooper battle Tuesday night at Lee County High School. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
LEESBURG — Patience. Not rushing shot attempts.
Those are two things Mitchell County High School girls coach Rosemary Sanders has been preaching to her team this season.
After the Lady Eagles built a comfortable lead in the third quarter Tuesday night at Lee County, Mitchell County put its coach’s words to work and took a 55-44 non-region win over Lee County.
The Herald No. 5 Lady Eagles (14-4) won their seventh straight and haven’t lost since falling to Valdosta on Jan. 3. They took Tuesday night’s game by passing the ball inside and using excellent shot selection.
“In the end, we showed a lot more patience and made some passes that needed to be made,” Sanders said. “The girls made some nice passes and some nice shots that counted.”
After building a nine-point lead to open the final quarter, Mitchell took advantage inside. Deaundra Hill made several nice assists inside to Shonbreka Holton, which resulted in several easy baskets.
Hill finished the game with 26 points, mostly on uncontested shots inside the paint. A’Miracle Jones created several turnovers, then dished to Holton for easy buckets.
Sanders liked what she saw on Tuesday, especially as the Lady Eagles gear up for the final two weeks of the regular season.
“We were struggling early, and we had a lot of turnovers,” Sanders said. “I think my assistant coach told me that we had 11 turnovers in the third quarter, but we cut those down to a minimum in the final period.
“I was happy with the win. We were looking to get the ball inside to our big people which is our strength. We have some good shooters too, but we rely a lot on our inside game.”
For Lee County, it was a frustrating loss the Lady Trojans didn’t need as they step back into Region 1-AAAAA play this weekend with a key game against Thomas County Central. After a close back-and-forth affair in the first half, Lee shot poorly from the floor and allowed too many baskets inside.
The loss spoiled a 20-point, seven-rebound effort from Kayla Cooper. Maggie O’Connor added 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
“Overall, we haven’t been gelling as a team on offense or defense,” Lee coach Tondra Davis said. “We’re a better team than what we showed (Tuesday). For some reason, we haven’t been able to play 32 minutes with heart and teamwork. It’s been a battle, but I’m optimistic we’ll get it figured out before Friday.”
LEE COUNTY BOYS 66, MITCHELL COUNTY 52: Lee County cut down a late Mitchell County rally and took a nonregion win Tuesday night.
The Trojans were led by Herald Super 6er Aaron May’s 17 points, while Derek Jones and Z. Johnson added 13 points each.
Mitchell was led by Bruce Bryant’s 14 points. DisArrius Robinson and Vernon Johnson added 10 points each.