West girls take out frustrations
By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 19, 2002
CAMDEN One way to get rid of an ill mood is to take a nice, long trip. West Lauderdale did that Monday night traveling to the outer regions of Madison County to take on Velma Jackson in a first round Class 3A South State girls' basketball playoff.
The Lady Knights, fresh off a controversial loss to Heidelberg last Friday in the Division 5-3A finals, had their running game in order against Velma Jackson. No less than six Lady Knights scored at least six points in romping to the 79-48 victory.
With the win, West Lauderdale now gets to come home and host the South State 3A Tournament beginning Friday night in Collinsville. The Lady Knights, 30-4, will face the winner of the Greene County-Purvis game on Friday.
Lady Knight junior forward Kristina Gardner was one of the West players in a foul mood. She turned in a 19-point performance to pace Hurst's team.
Gardner opened the scoring with a three-point play. West never trailed in the contest. A three-pointer by Patty Monroe gave the Lady Knights a 10-4 lead midway through the quarter.
Gardner would hit for two more baskets and J.J. Huggins added two herself along with two free throws to hand West a 22-10 lead after one quarter.
Hurst said his team exploited its advantage inside and used Gardner's soft touch around the basket to great effect.
The lead continued to grow in the second quarter. Huggins and Monroe teamed up on consecutive baskets to give West a commanding 46-22 advantage. Huggins had eight of her 16 points in the quarter while Monroe fired in 10 of her 17.
It was 49-26 at the half.
Velma Jackson made one brief flurry to close out the third quarter with five straight points. That got the deficit down to 18 at 61-43 heading to the fourth.
The Lady Falcons would narrow the West spread to 17 on two occasions the last on a runout by Cynthia Douglas to make it 63-46 with 5:40 to play.
The Lady Knights responded by scoring the next 14 points to seal the contest. The 31-point final margin matched their largest lead.
West Lauderdale finished with 31 made field goals and were a solid 15-of-22 from the line. Following Gardner, Huggins and Monroe were JaWanda Huggins with nine, Lloyd with eight, and Jennings with six.
Velma Jackson, which finishes its season at 11-19, had just 17 field goals. Sunyetta Bowie led the Lady Falcons with 17 points. Latyesha Murry and Sonya Banks each had nine.