No. 7 Keith defeats rival Lady PanthersPublished 12:44am Saturday, December 1, 2012
The Keith Lady Bears held off a number of runs and pulled away for a 44-34 win over the rival Southside Lady Panthers on the road on Friday.
Cecil Williams, head girls basketball coach of Keith (5-1, No. 7 Class 1A), said the Lady Bears had to make some sudden adjustments coming in, but their defensive play led them to Friday’s victory.
“Defense really helped us out tonight. My big girl (forward Lyteisha Phillips) was out with migraines and we had to change it up a little bit, but my team pulled together. It was a team win,” Williams said. “Besides the free throws, they looked real good.”
The Lady Bears held the lead the entire way, but Southside (1-3) started to threaten midway through the third.
With the score sitting at 31-21 in favor of the Lady Bears, Southside’s Ki’Onna Likely hit a 3-pointer to make it 31-24 with 3:34 left in the quarter.
Southside’s Ashley Cunningham went one for two from the line to make it 31-25, and Keith’s Dasheena Thomas hit a pair of free throws to make it 33-25.
But Likely put the Lady Panthers closer at 33-27, as she responded with a layup with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter.
The Lady Panthers ended the third with some momentum, as Calvondrea Blackmon hit a shot in the paint that made the score 33-29 going into the fourth.
But the Lady Bears opened the fourth with free throws from Thomas and ZyKia Pettway to make it 36-29.
Southside countered with another basket in the paint by Blackmon, but the Lady Bears responded by going on a 6-0 run that included a pair of baskets from Pettway and a fast-break layup by Harriet Winchester that put Keith up 42-31 with little over three minutes to play in the game.
Likely responded with a 3-pointer that made the score 42-34 with 2:51 left to play, but the Lady Bears defense held Southside scoreless from that point on.
Jason Bothwell, head girls basketball coach of Southside said, despite the loss, he’s seeing improvement from his team, especially on defense.
“We stuck to our game plan defensively. We struggled offensively and it kind of went back and forth. We had trouble getting the ball into the post,” Bothwell said. “We kind of struggled from the floor, but our defense is kind of what kept us in the game. Defensively, I’m happy. We’re making great improvement and we look a whole lot better than what we did in our first two games.”
Winchester led the Lady Bears with 15 points, while Pettway had 12 points and Thomas added 11 points.
Blackmon led Southside with 14 points, while Likely had 10 points.
Keith will take the floor again on Saturday at home against Wilcox-Central High School in a non-region game, with games beginning at 5 p.m.
Southside will return to play on Dec. 7 at Central-Hayneville High School in non-region play starting at 5 p.m.