Tigerettes easily dispose of Goodpasture

Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Photo by Anthony S. Puca The Tigerettes' Jakerra Simmons goes in for an easy bucket after stealing the ball early against Goodpasture.

The Marshall County High School Tigerettes showed no signs of rust from the Christmas lay-off and they were not looking ahead towards the collision game against No. 1 Smyrna when they exploded out of the gate versus Goodpasture and never looked back, destroying the Lady Cougars 55-21 in a first-round game at the Bulldog Classic.

It was textbook Tigerette ball with a swarming pressure defense that caused numerous turnovers that led to fast break buckets and an inside-outside offense that was impossible for Goodpasture to control.

On the Lady Cougars' first possession, Lauren March set the tone with a steal that set up an easy bucket by her post-mate Jakerra Simmons. After a bad shot caused by the tough MCHS defense, March found open space in the lane, where she was fouled and made one of two free throws for a 3-0 lead.

Simmons stole the ball on the Lady Cougars next touch and raced in for a lay-up and a five zip margin. Goodpasture turned it over and Jessica "The Assassin" McQueen made them pay when she threw down a long three-pointer for an 8-0 spread.

The Lady Cougars could not erase the eight-point deficit and trailed 15-7 at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter started much like the first as the Tigerettes caused Goodpasture to turn it over on their first two possessions. March took a beautiful pass from Danika Hopkins off the second turnover for an easy two points.

The duo duplicated the hand-off moments later and the Tigerettes led 19-8. March swiped the rock once more and went coast to coast and a 21-8 lead, forcing a Goodpasture timeout at 3:23.

The timeout did the lady Cougars no good as they once again turned it over and McKenna Moffett made two frees after being fouled on a drive in the lane. Page Neeley scored for Goodpasture to make it 23-10.

After a Tigerette miss, Moffett stole the ball and called timeout as she was surrounded and falling to the floor. The Tigerettes would score the final seven points of the half on a March turnaround jumper and five by Moffett, who hit a three and then scored on a pair of free throw for a 30-10 lead at intermission.

A minute into the second half, McQueen nailed a three-bomb and then fed March off of a steal for a 25-point lead at 35-10. The Tigerettes were relentless and kept pressuring away.

When McQueen hit a jumper with 3:09 left in the quarter and the Tigerettes leading 46-15, Head Coach David Steely had seen enough and went to the bench the rest of the contest.

Asked what can be learned from the 55-21victory, Steely responded after the game by saying, "It was a good game to knock the rust and get back on the floor. We will have to be ready to play tomorrow night, because they (Smyrna) are a tough match-up for anyone.

"They are just so big, so smart, and they can pound it inside. We can match up with anybody if we win the hustle plays. If we play smart and hang around, we can win."

March led all scores with 20 points, Hopkins, Moffett, and Simmons all had seven, McQueen scored five, Artavia Bryant scored three, and Stephanie Moore, LaRhonda O'Neal, and DaRhonda O'Neal each had two points.