Valdosta Daily Times

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February 25, 2012

Vikettes beat Luella in OT, 61-53

VALDOSTA — The Lowndes Vikettes used a dominating performance in overtime to beat the Luella Lady Lions 61-53 Friday night to advance to the second round of the Class AAAAA girls basketball playoffs.

The Vikettes outscored Luella 12-4 in the overtime session to secure the victory, using six points from sophomore Tasia Brown in the process.

“They are smart kids and they get the ball to Tasia,” Lowndes head coach Shan Garner said, “Which is a very smart move on our part getting it to her on the inside. The kid can flat out finish.”

Lowndes and Luella were tied 49-49 at the end of regulation, although Lowndes held a six-point lead with 1:36 remaining.

The Lady Lions used a Brianna Moore field goal to cut the Vikettes’ lead to four (48-44). Then, Luella was given a near gift when Lowndes’ Courtne Washington was called for a technical foul after recording a dominating block on Brittney Guy.

Guy drilled both technical free throws, which made the score 48-46 with 41.3 seconds remaining. On the other end, Lowndes’ Danyelle Jones extended the Vikettes’ lead to three points, 49-46, with 25 seconds remaining, but Guy drilled a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to tie the game at 49-49.

With one final chance to win the game in regulation, Jones turned the ball over for Lowndes, which sent the game into overtime.

“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t think we needed to go to overtime,” Garner said. “That really hurt my feelings there at the end. But, we got it done. That was a tough call there on Courtne.”

Both Brown and Guy each finished with 25 points on the night to carry their respective teams, although Brown was held scoreless in the fourth quarter before leading Lowndes with six points in overtime. Danyelle Jones finished with 11 points for Lowndes, while Courtne Washington added eight points. Maggie McGlamry finished with six points, connecting on two big 3-pointers on the night.

“Since (Brown and Gray) canceled each other out, it allowed our other kids to get it done,” Garner said. “Cournte was big in the fourth. I wouldn’t have given you a quarter for her in the first three quarters, but her fourth quarter was unreal. She took some of the pushing and shoving and finished. Kenya (Durden) and (Jamesia Jones’) defense, I mean we were doing defense and offense switching there at the end, and I thought they did an excellent job.

“(Guy) is an excellent player, she is one of the top 25 guards in Atlanta. She can flat out play. We knew that coming in, but I didn’t want to double team her because she is just as good of a passer as she is a shooter.”

Luella’s Terri Jones was the only other Lady Lion to finish in double figures, as she finished with 10 points.

For the third straight game, Lowndes fell behind early. Luella built a 9-2 lead, forcing Garner to call a time-out. Following the break, Lowndes closed the gap to two points, 9-7, before Luella built an eight-point lead (16-8) near the end of the opening quarter.

“I don’t know what we can attribute that to,” Garner said about the slow start. “I am going to have to talk to my staff and my kids. They had a good warm up. They came out there shot around early and shot around right before we played. It may be a mental thing, and we can’t play until we see some adversity. I don’t know.”

In the second quarter, Lowndes managed to suffocate the Luella offense, holding Guy scoreless in the quarter — she had eight in the first quarter. With stout defensive play, the Vikettes caught fire, offensively, starting the quarter with back-to-back baskets from Brown, which tied the game at 16-16. Following a quick four-point swing for Luella, Lowndes used a 7-2 run to close out the first half, building a 23-22 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Lowndes built a lead as large as seven points, which came in the final minute of the quarter behind a Brown free throw.

Lowndes will host North Cobb in the second round  Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the Lowndes gymnasium.

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