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Solid defense and balanced scoring lead to victory for Lady Raiders

AMERICUS – The Southland Academy Lady Raider Basketball Team (SAR) did what they normally do in their 52-26 GISA Region 3-AAA victory over Brookwood (BKW) on Friday evening, January 22. They used their defensive pressure to create their offense, but they were also able to get offensive production from several different players.

In spite of the large margin of victory, SAR Head Coach Ty Kinslow has great respect for the Lady Warriors, who are the defending GISA Class AAA State Champions.

“They’re a great team,” said Kinslow. “It was a close game all the way until halftime, but we did start stretching out the lead a little bit in the second quarter with our defense. We challenged our girls that they (BKW) have a very good team and we challenged our girls that there are certain things we wanted to do tonight. Our girls did a great job with it. Balanced scoring, great defense, as a coach, you can’t be any more excited about a team having a great team win. Everybody did their job and played their role. I’m very proud of them.”

Southland Academy sophomore guard Morgan Weaver tries to take the ball to the basket against Brookwood. Weaver scored eight points in SAR’s win over the Lady Warriors.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Riley Mitchell led the Lady Raiders in scoring with 12 points and both Maddie Crisp and Haleigh Warren each scored nine points. Morgan Weaver scored eight points and Holly McCain scored seven for SAR in the winning cause.

The Lady Raiders were able to jump out to a 12-7 lead in the first quarter, but had to continue to navigate the Lady Warriors’ 1-3-1 full-court press during the remainder of the first half. SAR was able to do that and at one point in the second quarter, the Lady Raiders were able to take a 15-9 lead on a jump shot from Morgan Weaver.

Southland Academy Reese Roland (#11) is about to take a shot from the corner. Roland scored nine points in the Lady Raiders’ win over Brookwood.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

For the remainder of the second quarter, SAR used its sound, aggressive defense to neutralize the Lady Warriors’ scoring opportunities. As a result, SAR held BKW to just six points in the second quarter, while the Lady Raiders increased their lead to 25-13 by halftime.

Southland Academy sophomore point guard Julia Caroline Bailey directs the Lady Raiders’ offense against Brookwood.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Lady Raiders continued to play strong, solid defense in the third quarter and went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to 32-13. BKW continued to press full-court, but SAR continued to break that press and was able to run its offense. During the closing minutes of the third quarter, Reese Roland was able to knock down a three-pointer to give SAR a 35-16 lead. During this period of the game, the Lady Raiders continued to exert their defensive pressure and were able to score points off turnovers. As a result of its dominating performance in the second half, SAR went on to win 52-26.

With the win, the Lady Raiders improve to 11-3 on the year and are now 3-0 in the GISA Region 3-AAA standings. With the loss, BKW falls to 5-11 overall and is now 2-1 in the Region 3-AAA standings. Jordan Burns led the Lady Warriors with seven points in the losing cause.

Southland Academy junior guard Jadie Burrell (12) takes the ball to the basket. Burrell scored three points in SAR’s win over Brookwood.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

Up next for the Lady Raiders is a road trip up to Perry on Tuesday, January 26, to take on the Lady Hornets of Westfield. Tip off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.  The next home game for the Lady Raiders will be another important Region 3-AAA contest against Valwood on Friday, January 29.  Tip off for that game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.