Dateline: Roswell, Ga. – In a rematch of a mid-November Cross Keyes victory, the Lady Indians found themselves ambushed by Cottage in the friendly confines of the Cougar Center. Benefiting from the vacation break, a full complement of players, and a little home cooking, the Lady Cougars jump ahead early and enjoyed the lead from wire to wire.
In complete contrast to the first game, Cottage came out with fire in the early going, as they locked down on the rebounding (led by Senior Anika Helm’s five first quarter boards), fully committed to transition defense, while also spreading the wealth on the offensive end of the court. Helm struck first, banking home a short jumper, on a cleaver feed by Alyssa Briggs. Briggs also tickled the nets for a bucket, while point forward Ana Mills tossed in five points of her own. On the visitor’s side of the ledger, Cross Keys managed a free throw and a foul shot, as the first frame closed with Cottage enjoying a six point advantage. Once the first quarter adrenaline rush wore off, both teams grappled with each other on a more even basis, as each team eked out three baskets apiece. The fact that three different Lady Cougars got into the scoring act again demonstrated the home team’s willingness to push the ball around.
After their halftime respite, the visitors honed in on rebounding and pressure defense to turn their fortunes around. This pivot paid dividends as a flurry of offensive rebounds allowed the visitors to tag ten third quarter points. Fortunately, Mills and Briggs turned in a Batman and Robin act, as both veterans punched in four points each to prevent the Cross Keys rally from getting out of control. By the final period of play, the Lady Indians forced a tie, insuring a white knuckle finish for the Cougar faithful. Three key buckets in the last 3:30 allowed the home town heroines to salt the game away. Briggs punished her foes with a low post completion, Helm knocked down another short jumper, while Mills delivered the coup de grace when she rattled home a jumper of her own.
The Ladies hope to start a home stand win streak when the host Furtah Academy on Friday evening.
Hannah Katz, Finely Love, and Julia McCauley provided bench strength for the night. McCauley pulled down 3 boards and also connected with Briggs to record an assist as well. Katz and Love both came down with 2 ‘bounds apiece. Katz also pulled the trigger on two jump shots.
Lillian Travis and Alyssa Briggs served as the starting backcourt. Travis tallied a pair of boards, as Briggs pumped in 10 points, combined with a game high 6 steals, 3 assists, and 8 rebounds.
Celeste Jeoffroy and Anika Helm held down the fort under the boards. Jeoffroy overcame a flurry of foul calls to claim 4 rebounds, 2 points, and 1 steal. Helm bossed her way to 8 rebounds, scored 4 points, stole 1 ball, and blocked 2 shots.
Ana Mills checked in with arguably her best game of the season. Leading all scorers with 12 points, Mills also posted a game high 11 rebounds, while also thieving 42 balls (including two big fourth quarter interceptions), and passing for an assist.