LCHS girls ease past Columbia

Published 5:12 pm Thursday, January 10, 2013

     MONTICELLO-Lawrence County and Columbia split a Region 7-4A varsity basketball doubleheader Tuesday night.  In girls’ action, Lawrence County’s DaKendra Collins scored with 5 seconds left as the Lady Cougars edged Columbia, 60-59.

       In boys’ play, Columbia went on an 18-2 run to end the game, and claim a 58-43 win over the Cougars.  Tuesday action was the 7-4A opener for both schools.

     In the girls’ game, Coach Vicki Rutland’s Lady Cougars dominated the first half, at one point opening a 14-point lead.  In the third quarter, however, Columbia stormed back, forcing an almost unbelievable 16 LCHS turnovers in the period.  That set up a nail-biting fourth quarter and a dramatic finish. 

     The fourth quarter saw Columbia come back to take the lead, powered by 10 fourth-quarter points from standout guard Radejah Woodson, and two key 3-pointers by Carmen Perry.  The Lady Wildcats led 59-58 in the waning seconds, when Lawrence County’s Tiana Dampeer passed underneath the basket to Collins, who made the biggest shot of her LCHS career.

     Collins’ basket gave Lawrence County a 60-59 lead, but Columbia had about 5 seconds left on the clock.  The lightening-quick Woodson received the inbounds pass and raced across midcourt, making a desperation heave at the buzzer, from almost midcourt.  Woodson’ shot very nearly went in, rimming out to preserve Lawrence County’s dramatic victory.

     “That was some win, some finish,” said Lady Cougar mentor Vicki Rutland.  “It wasn’t a pretty game; we turned the ball over way too many times.  But you’re going to have turnovers against Columbia.  They contest every pass, every dribble, every shot. 

     “It was an awesome way to end a game.  I’m so proud of our girls-proud of the Brittany, Tiana, and DaKendra handled that last sequence.”

     Brittany McDuffey led Lawrence County with a whopping 29 points and 10 rebounds.  Shayla Kees had her best game of the season, adding 16 points and 6 rebounds.  For Columbia, Woodson, who came in averaging 27 point per game, matched McDuffey with 29. 

     With the win, the Lady Cougars improved to 8-7 overall, and 1-0 in the division.  Columbia’s girls, coached by Tony Woody, fell to 8-8 overall, and 0-1 in division play.

Columbia 58, LCHS 43

     Like the girls’ game, the boys’ contest was a fast-paced affair, spurred on by the relentless, in-your-face, full-court defense of Tony Woody’s Wildcats, who improved to 12-4 overall, and 1-0 in the region, with the win.

     Lawrence County scored the first 7 points of the fourth quarter to grab a 41-40 lead, but Columbia scored 18 of the final 20 points to pull away for the win.  Torrian Lee led Columbia with 17 points, while Edward Forbes, the Wildcats outstanding football quarterback and an Ole Miss baseball signee, added 15. 

     Coach Pat Bridges’ Cougars fell to 8-7 and 0-1 with the loss.  They were led by Brandon Daniels, who scored 13 points.