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Lady Silver Foxes are too much for L-E to handle

Posted: January 29, 2011 12:12 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2011 5:00 a.m.
C-I photo by Tom Didato/

DAHIANA RODRIGUEZ pulls down a rebound during L-E’s game with Dutch Fork on Friday night.

Like a bright, neon sign which seems to keep blinking in the back of one’s mind, Lugoff-Elgin girls basketball coach Von Duncan could not forget the pasting which her team took when they traveled to play Dutch Fork earlier this month.

Duncan and the Lady Demons were not about to let that happen on Friday night.

Facing long odds against a taller Lady Silver Fox outfit which features 6-foot-4 inch sophomore center Alaina Coates, L-E gave a better showing for itself in a 70-44 defeat inside the Demons Dens. The loss dropped the hostesses to 2-7 in Region 4-4A.

After this contest, Duncan was more upbeat than she was after her team’s first game with Dutch Fork.

"When we played at Dutch Fork, the final score was 97-23. So, we have a lot to be proud of over here in the Demons Den," Duncan said. "There is no reason for our ladies to hang their heads after this game. I’m very proud of them."

Coates, who one recruiting service lists as one of the top five sophomores in the nation, scored 24 points, tying senior teammate Donnesha Shuler for the game’s scoring honors.

In trying to slow down Coates, Duncan sent out 5-foot-7 inch Nakiesha Counts, 5-foot-8 inch Kristen Baker and 5-foot-9 inch Samantha Jean to take their respective shots against the taller DF center. The game plan in the post, Duncan said, was for her players to try and frustrate Coates by blocking her line of vision as much as possible and by the best possible means.

"We had to keep a hand in her face because we can’t match up, height-wise, with (Coates)," Duncan said of the challenge faced by her centers. "We knew that when she has a hand in her face, she gets frazzled and frustrated. So, we had to double-team and pressure her and keep the ball out of her hands as much as we possibly could."

Getting a game-opening jumper from junior Aneka Dixon, the Lady Demons jumped to a quick 2-0 start. Shuler then scored on a stickback and a layin off a steal to touch off a 6-0 run. The Lady Demons drew to within one when senior guard Caressa Samuel, who led L-E with 16 points, completed a traditional 3-point play with 4:32 left in the first quarter.

The remainder of the opening stanza, however, would belong to the guests who used three Shuler stickbacks and seven points from Coates during a quarter-ending 14-3 run which was only interrupted by Samuel’s trey to make it 15-8 at the 2:11 mark.

DF, which dressed out just eight players, used a suffocating full-court press to wear down the smaller Lady Demons. The Lady Silver foxes finished this game with 18 second-chance baskets while scoring seven more buckets off turnovers for 32 points, from the field alone in those two areas.

"I think we played better early in the game," Duncan said. ‘"Our defense was on and we were going tit-for-tat, then we got kind of lax after that."

DF started pouring it on in the second quarter, embarking on an 11-2 run in the first three minutes to go up, 31-10. A 3-ball from Diondra McKie with 2:36 to go in the first brought the hostesses to within 31-13 in a first half which closed with Samuel banking in a 12-foot runner in the final minute of a first 16 minutes which saw the guests carry a 35-15 lead into the locker room.

Just as they did in the first half, the Lady Demons hit the scoreboard first as a Dixon layin opened the second half scoring. But, just as in the first quarter, DF came storming back, getting two Stokes’ layups and a putback to trigger a 12-0 run for a 47-17 lead.

The Lady Demons continued to battle, outscoring their guests by a 9-4 count in the final three-plus minutes with Nastassja Gibson scoring four of those points including as quarter-closing putback which made it a 51-26 DF lead heading into the final quarter.

The final eight minutes of the contest proved to be the best quarter for L-E, which scored 18 points in the closing stanza. Samuel had six fourth quarter points including a 3-point basket while Dixon and McKie also knocked down jumpers from beyond the arc before this game came to an end against a game L-E squad.

"Their height killed us, as usual, but I thought our girls came out and gave a good effort," Duncan said.

With three games left, the Lady Demons sit in fifth place in seven-team Region 4-4A. If the season ended Friday, Duncan said her team would be in the state tournament.

L-E has three games remaining in the regular season, including next Friday’s home contest with Irmo, the entry with whom the Lady Demons are battling for the fifth and final playoff slot given to the seven-team conference. Duncan said her team will do nothing different in preparing for the final threeregular season games.

"We’re going to keep on taking it one game at a time," Duncan said of her team’s approach to the final trio of regular season contests.

"I’m very proud of my ladies. They play hard. If they play as hard as they played tonight against everybody else that we have left on our schedule, there is no reason why we should not get into the playoffs."

 

DF (70):

L-E (44):

 

Score by quarters:

First: DF, 20-8; Halftime: DF, 35-15; Third: DF, 51-26; Three-point goals: DF 1 (Daniels); L-E 5 (Samuel 2, McKie 2, Dixon)
Aneka Dixon 4 2-2 11, Caressa Samuel 6 2-3 16, Nastassja Gibson 4 0-0 8, Diondra McKie 2 0-0 6, Dahiana Rodriguez 0 0-3 0, Samantha Dean 0 3-4 3. Totals: 16 7-12 44
Donnesha Shuler 11 2-5 24, Sierre Stokes 3 1-3 7, Alaina Coates 10 4-7 24, Sydney Shull 3 0-0 6, Shelby Curtis 1 0-2 2, Ky’aire Daniels 1 2-2 5, Kyla Wigfall 1 0-0 2. Totals: 30 9-19 70

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