West Lauderdale splits with John Carroll
By By Jamey Lanier/The Meridian Star
Jan. 14, 2001
The West Lauderdale basketball teams stepped out of division play Saturday as they split a doubleheader against John Carroll of Birmingham, Ala.
The host Lady Knights notched a 62-50 win over John Carroll, while the West boys dropped an 84-54 decision.
This was John Carroll's first trip to Collinsville, though the West girls played in the Cavaliers' tournament last year.
The friendly basketball rivalry came about two summers ago when West girls' coach Jody Hurst met John Carroll coach Marty Smith at a basketball camp. Both coaches agreed that playing against a new opponent made things interesting for the players.
The Lady Cavaliers came in at 6-11 in the powerful Alabama Class 6A, but sported one player already committed to play college ball, and another close to being admitted to Harvard.
West saw a two-game losing streak come to an end. Hurst had hoped to see improvement on defense and got just that as the Lady Knights won with strong rebounding and hustle.
The Lady Knights got tough inside play from J.J. Huggins to grab an early lead. The Lady Cavaliers battled back with a couple of 3-pointers from Diana Isbell and took 12-10 lead.
Julie McCrory put West back in front when she drove for a layup at the buzzer to give West a 14-12 lead.
West Lauderdale stretched that lead in the second quarter with Hayley Scarborough, Kristina Gardner and Huggins all hitting big shots. Huggins dominated the boards, turning offensive rebounds into points. At the break, West held a 31-21 halftime lead.
Both teams played a tight third quarter, matching each other point for point. Then the Lady Knights sandwiched two six-point runs around a John Carroll trey to extend their lead to 42-30 at the break.
Jawanda Huggins scored eight points and Gardner and J.J. Huggins continued to rebound as the Lady Knights cruised to the 62-50 win.
J.J. Huggins paced West Lauderdale, 17-6 on the year, with 18 points, followed by Gardner with 15 and Jawanda Huggins with 10.
Isbell had a game-high 19 for the Lady Cavaliers and Jamilla Kindall tallied 14.
John Carroll boys 84, West Lauderdale 54: The powerful Cavaliers came in as the fourth-ranked team in Alabama and proved to be worthy of that honor, using a stifling full court press and timely outside shooting to take the win.
Knight sophomore Calvin Moore started out hot, scoring his team's first nine points, including a 3-pointer to give West a 9-5 lead. But then the Cavaliers reeled off eight unanswered points to re-take the lead.
West Lauderdale, now 11-13, played the bigger and deeper Cavaliers tough. Moore and Boo Ramsey hit big shots to give the Knights a 20-19 lead after one quarter. But then the visitors took over.
John Carroll got nine unanswered points midway through the second quarter to take a 33-30 lead at the halftime break.
The Cavaliers' depth and experience started to show in the third period as they blew the game open and cruised to the 30-point win.
Moore led the Knights with 18 points, followed by Ramsey with 12.
The Cavaliers, 14-1, were led by Marcus Kennedy and James Poindexter with 18 each.
West Lauderdale returns to action Tuesday, hosting Carthage in a Division 5-3A matchup.