Lady Raiders win hard-fought battle over Abbeville Christian

Published 6:26 am Wednesday, November 21, 2018

DAWSON, GA – Day two of the Tale Tip-Off Tournament at Terrell Academy was much tougher for the Southland Lady Raider basketball team as they faced the Lady Generals of Abbeville Christian Academy from Abbeville, AL on Tuesday, November 20. However, in spite of poor shooting, the Lady Raiders made baskets when they had to and came away with a 45-37 victory over the Lady Generals.

Southland Head Coach Ty Kinslow was very complimentary of ACA guard Joiner Hughes, who scored 13 points on the day.

“We knew that they had really good guard play. She (Hughes) is one of the better guards we will face this year,” Kinslow said. They (ACA) are well coached. Everything went through her hands. Overall, we did a pretty good job defensively on her. We got the shots we wanted. We just didn’t make a lot of easy shots today. We didn’t shoot well from the floor. If we had shot well from the floor, we could have knocked them out in the first half. Instead, when you let them hang around, it’s a battle after that. We had two of our starters foul out, but we had some people step in and do a great job down the stretch of protecting the lead, so I’m very proud of them.”

Southland forward Holly McCain goes up for a rebound against ACA.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Southland guard Sydney Payne led all scorers with 15 points. The Lady Raiders had two other players in double-figures. Holly McCain scored 12 points and Calyn Fort had 10. For ACA, in addition to Hughes’ 13 points, Analeigh Givens also scored 13 for the Lady Generals.

Southland jumped out to a 9-2 lead as ACA had trouble scoring. The Lady Raiders used their pressure defense to create turnovers and turn them into points. ACA was able to go on a 6-1 run to cut Southland’s lead to 10-6. However, Sydney Payne hit a three-pointer as the horn sounded to end the first quarter to give the Lady Raiders a 13-6 lead.

Southland guard Calyn Fort with the ball against Abbeville Christian. Fort scored 10 points against ACA.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Both teams struggled to score for the first three and a half minutes of the second quarter. With 4:29 to go in the first half, Southland had a 14-8 lead. However, the Lady Generals went on a 9-4 run to cut Southland’s lead to 18-17. Hughes hit a three-pointer for ACA. She was later fouled while shooting and made both free throws.

With under a minute left in the first half, Analeigh Givens hit two foul shots to put ACA to within one point at 20-19, but Payne scored on the Lady Raiders’ next possession and was fouled. Payne made the foul shot, putting Southland up 23-19. Holly McCain scored on the inside as time was winding down in the half to give Southland Academy a 25-19 halftime lead.

Calyn Fort shooting a free throw.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Southland was led in the first half by Payne’s 12 points, including the three-pointer at the end of the first quarter. Macy Williams scored five first-half points for the Lady Raiders. For ACA, they were led in the first half by Hughes, who scored 10 points. Givens scored seven first-half points for the Lady Generals.

ACA started out the second half by scoring the first two baskets of the half to cut Southland’s lead to 25-23. Southland struggled to score and turned the ball over early in the third quarter. The Lady Generals ended up tying the game 25-25 before Holly McCain scored two-straight baskets to give the Lady Raiders a 29-25 lead. Payne then drove to the basket, scored and was fouled. She made the three-point play, giving the Lady Raiders a 34-26 lead.

However, ACA closed out the third quarter by scoring six unanswered points. As time was winding down in the third, the Lady Generals were playing for the last shot. Givens took a baseline three-pointer, which was no good, but Caroline Armstrong was there for the rebound and the put-back to cut the Lady Raiders’ lead to 34-32 at the end of the third quarter.

Southland guard Maddie Crisp looking to pass the ball against ACA.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Southland outscored ACA 3-1 in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. Then McCain scored on the inside to give the Lady Raiders a 39-33 lead. The Lady Raiders were able to benefit from several missed free throws by the Lady Generals.

With under a minute to go, and Southland up 41-34, the Lady Raiders were getting fouled and had opportunities to seal it at the free-throw line. However, they struggled to hit foul shots until McCain hit two with 14.7 seconds left to seal the 45-37 victory.

After the Thanksgiving break, the Lady Raiders (2-0) will host Terrell Academy on Tuesday, November 27, at 6:30 p.m.