Valdosta Daily Times

February 13, 2013

Lowndes basketball eliminated

Vikettes, Vikings fail to qualify for GHSA state basketball playoffs

Ed Hooper
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Basketball season is over at Lowndes High School.

Neither the Lowndes Vikettes nor the Vikings qualified for the GHSA Class 6A state basketball playoffs this season, after both were eliminated in the first round of the Region 1-6A basketball tournament Tuesday night.

Neither Lowndes team led during Tuesday’s games, as the Vikettes lost to Colquitt County 58-39. The Vikings lost to Coffee 79-66.    

The Vikings (15-11) couldn’t overcome a hot shooting night by the Trojans, who looked as though they couldn’t miss during periodical times of the game.

Led by Rashad Thomas’ 28 points and D.J. Wiley’s 11, the Trojans built a double digit lead in the first quarter, and managed to maintain and extend it throughout the next three quarters of the game. Coffee’s largest lead of the night was 24, coming midway through the fourth quarter when it took a 71-47 lead over the Vikings.

The first half flew by, with the two teams combining for just six total fouls — five in the second quarter.

Coffee came storming out of the gate, building a 10-point lead in the closing minutes of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Trojans quickly added to their lead. Outscoring Lowndes 21-11 to start the quarter, the Trojans were able to grab a 40-23 lead, their largest of the first half.

From there, the Vikings closed the gap, using a 7-0 run to end the quarter and trail 40-30 at the half.

Tremayne Tippins started the run with a field goal, followed by a tip-in basket from Marlon Nichols and a 3-pointer from Justin Williams.

The third quarter of the game was the lowest scoring quarter, with the teams combining for just 23 points. Lowndes was able to cut its deficit to as little as eight, 32-44, midway through the quarter, before Coffee pulled away at the end of the third to make it 53-40 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the final quarter of the season for the Vikings, Lowndes was blown out by the Trojans, who managed to catch fire like the first quarter.

Coffee built its largest lead of the day and coasted to victory, allowing Lowndes to make a minor run in the waning minutes to bring the score within 13.

Eric Henderson paced the Vikings with 24 points, 14 of which came in the first half, while Justin Williams finished with 14 points. Marlon Nichols finished with 11.

A 7-year streak of winning at least 20 games a season came to an official end for the Lowndes Vikettes, who saw their season come to an end with a 58-39 loss to the Colquitt     County Lady Packers Tuesday night.

Led by Makeba Ponder’s 24 points, the Lady Packers led the entire way, building a lead as large as 22 points late in the fourth quarter, earning their second win of the season over the Vikettes (16-11).

With the win, the Lady Packers will now face top-seeded Valdosta Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Colquitt County pushed its lead to as many as 11 points on multiple occasions in the first half, although neither team could muster much production in the first quarter — Colquitt County led 8-6 at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Lady Packers pushed their lead to 17-6 behind a 9-0 run across the opening 4 1/2 minutes of the quarter.

Ponder led the run for the Lady Packers, scoring 7 of the 9 points.

Lowndes finished the half on a quick 4-0 run, making the halftime score, 20-13.

Colquitt County blew the game open in the third quarter. After swapping a pair of baskets with Lowndes to start the half, the Lady Packers used a commanding 11-0 run to grab a 36-16 lead in the closing minutes of the third quarter.

After Lowndes managed a quick 1-4 run to close out the quarter, making the score 40-26.

The fourth quarter wasn’t any better for Lowndes. Each team made minor runs in the quarter, but the Lady Packers used an 8-0 run midway through the quarter to pull away and shut the door on the Vikettes.

Tashia Brown finished with 14 points, while Coretta Haddin finished with seven. With Ponder scoring a game-high 24 points, Colquitt County’s JaNice Sailor and Shakhila Harry each finished with 11.