Lady Bears outlast WinterboroPublished 12:49am Tuesday, February 19, 2013
MONTGOMERY — The Keith Lady Bears built up a big lead early and held off a late comeback attempt to defeat the Winterboro Lady Bulldogs 58-46 on Monday to open the Class 1A Central Regional at Alabama State University’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome.
Cecil Williams, head girls basketball coach of Keith (29-3), said the experience gained from last season’s regional tournament exit and the height advantage of the Lady Bears’ frontline helped power them to victory.
“The experience from last year was the best thing. That gave us the confidence here to come to play tonight and to make sure we get to the next round and push forward to where we want to go,” Williams said. “The size advantage really helped us out a lot. Our biggest thing this season has been with our guard play and getting the ball into the post. We have three very good post players. One of them [Dasheena Thomas] twisted her knee tonight, but I’m hoping she can recover to help us out later in the week. The inside was the biggest thing that helped us out the most. They played it well and it showed tonight.”
The Lady Bears built up a big lead early, leading by as much as 14 points, but the Lady Bulldogs (29-4) made it a single-digit game at 44-36 going into the fourth.
Keith started the fourth strong, as freshman Zykia Pettway hit a pair of baskets to counter a shot by Winterboro’s Jasmine Richardson and make it a double-digit game again at 48-38 with 5:14 left to play.
Winterboro cut it to 48-40 on a runner by Anslea Twymon, but Pettway scored again to make it 48-42 with 4:35 left.
The Lady Bulldogs got back-to-back baskets by Nadia Estelle and Richardson, but the Lady Bears responded by going on a 6-0 run that included baskets by senior Lyteisha Phillips and freshman Harriet Winchester that made it 56-44 with 2:22 left and sealed the victory for Keith.
Pettway, who led Keith with 18 points and 11 rebounds, said she just kept her focus after getting in foul trouble early in the first half.
“I just didn’t lose my cool,” Pettway said, “and I just looked to coach and did what I’m supposed to do.”
Winchester had 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists for Keith, and said she just played hard for her teammates down the stretch.
“I had to just take one for the team,” Winchester said. “I just focused.”
Phillips added 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for Keith, while Thomas had 9 points and four boards.
Keith outrebounded Winterboro 40-31 on the night.
The Lady Bears will play again on Thursday against Loachapoka (24-3) at 6:30 p.m. in the Acadome.