Sick Lady Bobcats still win

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2005

The R.C. Hatch High School Lady Bobcats gave their opponents Wednesday night a head start even before the game began.

R.C. Hatch played without a starter and with several others battling illness, yet still came away wih a 64-54 victory over the Class 3A Greensboro East Lady Raiders.

The Lady Bobcats played without starting forward Janita Essex, sick with a virus. Many of the Lady Bobcats were themselves battling the same virus. That, however, mattered little as the Lady Bobcats turned a slow start into an easy win.

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Forward guard Vinecia Dudley and forward Ahjah Mitchell picked up the slack for their missing teammate.

Despite not practicing on Tuesday due to illness, Mitchell poured in 27 points and shut down the Raiders’ interior game, and Dudley chipped in 17 points and came away with several key steals on the perimeter. R.C. Hatch upped its record to 19-1.

“Ahjah is always going to do her job,” R.C. Hatch coach Walter Abraham said. “She’ll get her rebounds. She gives 100 percent every night.”

Jamarica Cheese moved from her strong forward position to play in Essex’s power forward spot. She pulled down several rebounds and helped Mitchell keep the Lady Raiders off the baseline for much of the second half.

With R.C. Hatch lead 37-26, Greensboro East opened the second half with a quick 6-2 run to close to within 39-32.

That, however, would be as close as the Lady Raiders would get. On the Lady Bobcats’ following possession, Dudley grabbed the ball on the right wing and charged the baseline for a driving lay-up. She later drained a 10-foot jumper in the paint over Greensboro East guard Vanessa Rhodes to push the Lady Bobcats’ lead to 43-33.

Mitchell later came up with a steal under the R.C. Hatch basket. She then tipped the ball to Dudley, who gave it back to Mitchell for a running lay-up and a 45-33 advantage. R.C. Hatch’s lead grew to 54-35 after three periods.

Mitchell followed a Dudley miss midway through the fourth quarter and finished with a driving lay-in to make it a 58-44 contest. The Lady Bobcats’ lead never fell below 10 points in the final period.