Valdosta girls 61, Coffee 54
Valdosta’s girls team took the lead with a 12-0 run in the first quarter, maintained the lead the rest of the game, then held off a late Coffee rally to earn a 61-54 win.
The win improved the Lady Wildcats’ record to 17-4, and 7-3 in Region 1.
“I’m glad we won. It’s a region win,” Lady Wildcats head coach E.A. Wilcox said. “It keeps us in second place (in the region).”
Four and a half minutes into the game, Coffee held a 12-6 lead. But then Valdosta made a run.
Kaneshia Kimbrough made a layup. Valdosta went to a full court press, which caused Coffee to turn the ball over, then Tiaera Phillips made a jumper. LeQuesha Newkirk tied the score with two free throws, then she gave the Lady Wildcats the lead with a three-pointer 25 seconds later. Stormm Phillips made a free throw, then the next time VHS got the ball, Tiaera Phillips grabbed a loose ball near the basket and scored. That 12-0 run turned a 12-6 deficit into an 18-12 lead for the Lady Wildcats at the end of one quarter.
The Lady Trojans scored seven of the first 10 points of the second quarter, and cut the Lady Wildcats’ lead to 21-19. But then Valdosta center Destiny Covert scored on each of her team’s next four possessions, and on the possession after that, Stormm Phillips converted a three-point play. That 11-3 run helped the Lady Wildcats extend their lead to 10 points, 32-22.
Coffee closed out the first half with six straight points, and cut Valdosta’s lead to five, 34-29.
The Lady Wildcats extended their lead to as many as 11 points in the third quarter, then Coffee rallied and cut the VHS lead to six. But the Lady ’Cats scored the last three points of the period, and at the end of three quarters, Valdosta held a 45-36 lead.
Valdosta led by 11 with six minutes left to play, but Coffee scored six straight points in a span of 39 seconds to cut the VHS lead back to five, 49-44. Ninety-one seconds later, A’tyanra Gaulden’s jumper made it a three-point game, 51-48.
Valdosta pushed its lead back to seven, but Coffee’s Danielle Lott made a five-foot jumper, then Gaulden drove to the basket for a fast break layup, and cut the VHS lead to three, 57-54, with 57 seconds left to play.
But the Lady Wildcats wouldn’t let Coffee get any closer. Valdosta beat Coffee’s press, and Terri Oglesby caught the ball near the basket for a layup. As she was making the layup, she was fouled, and she made her free throw to complete the three-point play. Stormm Phillips’ free throw with 11.9 seconds left put the game away.
Covert scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Valdosta. Stormm Phillips led the Lady Wildcats with 15 points.
Gaulden led Coffee with 21 points. Kara Kitchen had 13 points and Sonya Franklin added 12.