Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

December 12, 2012

Southland sends Sherwood back home with two losses

AMERICUS — What began as a day of hope for the Sherwood Christian Academy Lady Eagles and Eagles turned into a long ride back to Albany after the Southland Academy Lady Raiders and Raiders took care of business on the courts on Tuesday night in a doubleheader sweep. The Lady Raiders took down the Lady Eagles behind a strong second half performance to start the night, and the Raiders won the second match-up after a strong start to complete the Tuesday night non-region sweep.

Ella Hawkins and Dallas NeSmith led the Southland to a 9-4 first period lead, and the Lady Raiders continued to pile on behind the guard’s solid performances. After taking a 17-10 lead into the halftime break, Southland went shot-for-shot with the Lady Eagles in the third before opening the lead up in the final period to claim an impressive 44-30 win as the fourth period expired.

Much of the Lady Raiders success came from the solid defensive performance that Southland provided throughout the game. “We pressed the entire game and caused some turnovers,” said Lady Raider coach Paula McDonald. “When those kinds of things happen it’s because the defense is really working.”

Hawkins had her first double-double of the season, scoring 18 points while stealing 10 balls from the Lady Eagles. NeSmith added 12 points to finish second in scoring, and she also had three steals on the night for the Lady Raiders. Victoria Davidson was the Lady Eagles leading scorer, tossing in 11 points in the loss.

“We had some players out with illness, but we had some others that really stepped up and everyone contributed really well,” said McDonald.

Following the girl’s game the Raiders took the court hoping to shake off a very close loss to Westfield on Friday night. After a hot start early in the game, the Raiders coasted to a 61-57 win to move to 2-1 on the young 2012-13 season.

Southland raced out to a huge lead from tip-off, controlling the first period with 24 points to Sherwood’s 14. The Raiders and Eagles then traded baskets in the second period, and at the halftime break Southland held a 37-27 advantage.

The second period would also be a shot-for-shot affair as Sherwood narrowly outscored the Raiders in each of the final two periods. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Southland’s huge first period would prove the difference in the game, and as the final period expired the Raiders claimed a hard-fought 61-57 victory over the upset-minded Eagles.

With another huge game, Colby Webb notched his third straight double-double to start the season with 23 points scored and 17 rebounds to the lead the Raiders. Dustin Shattles also had another tremendous night with 16 points, including going 11 for 13 from the free throw line. Geoffrey McDonald added a double-double of his own with 15 points and 10 rebounds to help secure the win for the Raiders.

Southland head coach Rundy Foster was thrilled with his team’s play on both ends of the court, saying, “Those three guys have been carrying us all year on the offensive end, and William Oster, Jon Adkins, Ford roach, and Taylor Weldon have all done a great job on the defensive end.”

The Raiders and Lady Raiders will be back on the road for their next game on Friday night as they travel to Macon to take on the very tough Stratford Academy Lady Eagles and Eagles. “They are a top five team in the state in AAA so it will be a good test for us, but those are the types of games we like to play,” said Foster.

The girl’s game will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the boy’s game following immediately after.

 

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