Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

January 22, 2014

Dropping a pair

Eagles soar past Valiants

HAHIRA — The Sherwood Christian Academy Eagles hit the road and knocked off both the Valwood girls and boys basketball teams Tuesday night at the Eager Sports Center 71-51 and 54-48, respectively.

Valwood's girls entered the game with just one win this season and faced a tough task trying to find win No. 2 against a tough squad from Albany.

Both offenses were effective in the first quarter getting shots up in the restricted area, but Sherwood managed to do just enough to take a 19-15 lead.

Key'yada Thomas provided a spark for the Eagles to open up the second quarter, hitting a 3-pointer and dishing three assists in the first three minutes of the quarter to swell the lead to 35-18. Thomas scored seven points with four assists in the second quarter alone.

The Valiants cut the lead back to six by working the ball in the post for easy baskets, but the Eagles went on another run to end the half and take a 38-27 lead into the locker room.

With her team facing a double-digit deficit, Hollis Waldron of Valwood took over the game in the beginning of the third quarter.

Eight points backed by tenacious defense from Waldron fueled the Valiants as they closed the deficit to four points, 45-41.

But once again Sherwood turned up the defensive intensity, pushing the lead back to 11 points going into the final quarter.

The Eagles' aggressive defense did not go away in the fourth, forcing multiple Valwood turnovers as Sherwood pulled away.

Waldron led the Valiants with 22 points and  Amanda Lupo and Ashley Manwell added 10 and six points, respectively. Madison Walker led the Eagles in scoring with 23 points in addition to Thomas' 16.

Sherwood    54

Valwood boys    48


Valwood held a clear height advantage over Sherwood, but the Eagles' smaller lineup entered with a 11-5 record.

The Valiants had struggled this season, but coming off three consecutive victories, this had the making of a great game and it lived up to those expectations.

Valwood raced out to a quick lead, scoring the game's first seven points in an efficient manner, but Sherwood quickly responded with seven points of its own, foreshadowing the game's back-and-forth nature.

Both teams battled to establish a lead in the first quarter, but it would be the Eagles who took the first quarter 16-13 thanks to a late 3-pointer.

The battle continued in the second quarter as both teams traded offensive spurts.

Valwood's offense fared best setting up in the half-court and getting the ball to its big men, De'Andre Lambert and Elliot Carter, in the post while Sherwood preferred to score in transition to offset the Valiants' size advantage. The match of opposing styles resulted in a 23-20 Eagle lead at halftime.

In the second half it appeared clear the Eagles' game plan was to keep the Valiants out of the paint and the ball out of the hands of Lambert and Carter.

Sherwood's defense opened the half extremely physical, eliminating easy shots out of the post, deciding instead to put Valwood on the free-throw line.

The strategy worked perfectly for the Eagles as the Valiants only made four of their 11 free throws.

Valwood played some solid defense of its own in the third quarter as well to keep the game to just a three-point margin, 35-32.

"They didn't (stop us from getting into the post), we stopped ourselves," said Valwood coach Carlos Jones. "We stopped feeding the post, we stopped moving the ball like we did in the first half and it came back to haunt us. Our strength is our inside game, and we got away from it."

Despite the close contest, the fourth quarter proved to lack much suspense as Sherwood continued to put Valwood on the free-throw line and the Valiants continued to miss The Eagles held onto the lead, never allowing the Valiants to get closer than five points.

"They executed, they hit big shots when they had to," said Jones. "We weren't executing. We shot terrible from the free-throw line; I told them all week, all season since I've become coach, eventually the free-throw line is going to hurt us and tonight it did, 11-27 at the free throw line and we lose by six."

Lambert and Elliot scored 19 and 14 points, respectively, for the Valiants who dropped to 3-6 with the loss.

Lareece Kelley had 17 points for the Eagles as they move to 12-5 on the season.

Valwood will be back in action Saturday when the Valiants travel to face Terrell Academy.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

Blazers Blog
More