McAdams eliminates West Lincoln

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, March 10, 2004

JACKSON — Ashton Washington authored an offensive show Tuesdaynight in the semifinals of the Class 1A Girls State BasketballTournament. The 5-foot-11-inch senior poured in 20 points andpulled down 12 rebounds in leading the McAdams Lady Bulldogs to a60-38 trouncing of West Lincoln’ s Lady Bears.

McAdams (31-4) advances to Saturday’s 1 p.m. state championshipgame against the winner of today’s East Oktibbeha-West Lowndesgame. West Lincoln (26-6), losing only one starter to graduation,can look forward to next season.

Washington, an athletic leaper and runner, sat out the last 2minutes of the first quarter and the remainder of the first halfwith 2 personal fouls. Her return to action in the third quarterignited McAdams on a 27-14 run which put the game out of doubt. TheLady Bulldogs had led 7-6 at the first-quarter break and 18-13 athalftime in a low-scoring struggle, featuring numerous missedshots.

Washington scored 18 of her game-high total in the second halfand 13 in the third quarter surge. Her trey, with 1:12 showing inthe third, gave McAdams a 39-24 advantage.

“She (Washington) got hot in the second half,” said West Lincolncoach Lane Young. “Physically, she’s probably stronger than anybodywe have. She can do a little bit of everything, run the floor,rebound and shoot the three.”

Young said his team was overwhelmed by the quickness of McAdamsand the Lady Bulldogs’ transition game. “Their transition gamereally got to us. We turned the ball over too much and that led totheir transition baskets.”

McAdams scored 10 layups on the Lady Bears, several of them offdefensive rebounds which were passed off to fleet-footed guards.Ashley Brown tossed in 13 points and Debra Brown 12.

Coach Chad Jackson of McAdams said Washington was among severalof his players with offensive potential. “Ashton has been tough allyear but we have four or five girls who can lead us inscoring.”

Jackson said the 9-day layoff since winning the SouthMississippi Tournament caused his team to start slow. “We’ve beenoff nine days. It took my kids a while to to get used to the lightsand the floor.”

Asked about his defensive scheme, Jackson said, “We didn’t wantNo. 5 (Alicia Kennedy) and No. 14 (Erica Shaw) to control the game.We have been a running team all year.”

This is Jackson’s third year as head coach at McAdams. Hisfather, Wilson Jackson, coached the McAdams boys for 30 years. TheLady Bulldogs reached the semifinals two years ago, losing toMyrtle.

West Lincoln was outrebounded 27-19. Kennedy, a 5-8 junior,finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds, scoring all of her pointsin the second half.

Shaw was held scoreless the first half as McAdams worked hard onman-to-man defense. She finished with 5 points.

“We missed a bunch of open shots but our girls played hard andwe had a good year,” said Young. “We want to keep the momentumgoing for next season.”

West Lincoln won its first division tournament title in 20 yearsand was making its first state tournament appearance in 5 years.Against McAdams, the Lady Bears took their last lead at 10-9 on abaseline jumper by Lauren Smith with 5:39 left in the firsthalf.