Valdosta girls 54, Lowndes 47
The Valdosta girls basketball team is off to its best start in several years. The Lady Wildcats continued that hot start on Saturday, when they beat defending region champion Lowndes 54-47.
“Any time we get a region win, we’re happy,” Lady Wildcats coach E.A. Wilcox said. “We’re glad to get this win.”
It didn’t take long for Valdosta to grab the lead. Lowndes’ Tashia Brown opened the scoring with two free throws, but then Valdosta went on a run.
Shaneika Smith tied the score with a jumper. Stormm Phillips gave the Lady Wildcats the lead with two free throws, and Kaneshia Kimbrough added a free throw. Phillips scored on a bank shot, then stole the ball, dribbled in and scored. A free throw by Taylor Hauser and another one by Tiaera Phillips completed an 11-0 run, and gave Valdosta an 11-2 lead.
The Lady Wildcats would hold the lead the rest of the game.
Valdosta led 17-9 after one quarter, 31-20 at halftime and 45-33 after three quarters.
Valdosta led by 12, 54-42, with less than a minute to play, but Lowndes tried to stage a last-minute comeback. Delaney Edwards made a free throw, then a Vikette stole the ball and passed to Mercedes Gillon-Grant for a layup. Then Gillon-Grant stole the ball and scored on another layup, cutting Valdosta’s lead to 54-47 with 28 seconds left to play.
Lowndes’ defense forced another turnover, but could not get another basket, and the Lady Wildcats walked away with a seven-point victory over their crosstown rivals.
Stormm Phillips led Valdosta with 20 points. Covert scored 10 points and Kimbrough added eight.
Brown scored 25 points for Lowndes, but the rest of the Vikettes combined for just 22. Gillon-Grant had eight points.
Stormm Phillips was honored at halftime for scoring her 1,000th career point earlier this season. A banner was unveiled in the gym recognizing the accomplishment.