Dateline-Roswell, Ga. In a re-match of last week’s MS match, the Stallions of Sugar Hill Christian stampeded into the Cougar’s den for an afternoon match. Over the past eight days the Lady Cougars picked up so new tricks and experience that they were anxious to spring on the visitors.
In the early going, the Sugar Hill Christian Academy established their offensive bona fides by scoring 10 first quarter points. However, careful observers would note that improved Lady Cougar defense surrendered six fewer points than were allowed in the first match. Furthermore the man coverage worked much better than the zone employed last week, in that the Stallions found far fewer holes in the scheme. Offensively, points did not come easily. Finley Love broke the scoring drought for the Cougars as she connected on a shot after receiving a deft pass from fellow guard Lilian Travis in second quarter action.
After a brief halftime respite, the team got back on track with seven third quarter points. Substitute Ana Mills canned a free throw and Love rained down three field goals. In fourth quarter action, the Lady Cougars again matched their seven point output, with Mills leading the charge with another free throw, a gab and go steal, and an offensive rebound tip in. The buzzer sounded revealing a 34 – 16 score in favor of the Stallions. However, the final margin remained well short of the 30 point victory Sugar Hill boasted in the first game. Any observer following the two games would certainly come away with the feeling that the young Cougars played much more effectively on defense, and benefited greatly from the man scheme. Once the offensive doldrums worked themselves out, the ladies appeared much more confident on offense, while certainly exhibiting much more awareness on rebounding. As the Biblical adage about iron sharpening iron apples here quite well. The MS and younger players learned a great deal from matching up against an experienced and accomplished opponent.
The Middle School contingent took to their starting roles again this afternoon. Hannah Katz logged most of her minutes as a post player on both ends of the court. She fought her way to a pair of rebounds, and deflected a couple of passes. Although she got loose to squeeze off her shots, the basketball gods conspired to keep the rims tight. Reagan McMillin and Finely Love nailed down the guard spots. McMillin also stepped into the passing lanes to deflect passes, while matching up against some speedy opponents. Love jumped out of her sneakers to claim 9 rebounds (4 offensive), block 3 shots, and force 3 steals. She also led the Cougars with 10 points.
Lillian Travis and Celeste Jeoffroy rounded out the starting lineup. From the backcourt Travis grabbed 2 steals and also recorded an assist. This game also saw greater comfort and familiarity operating in a man defense. Jeoffroy played nearly every minute of the game, and made her special mark in the category of rebounding. Jeoffroy banged her way to an impressive 16 boards, 10 of them wiped from the offensive glass. She also followed with an assist, a block, and 2 steals.
Ana Mills served as the lone substitute for this game. She bounced around the court like a pin ball, gathering 5 steals, 2 blocked shots, in addition to her 5 rebounds. Her 6 points came on the strength of a pair of free throws, and fast break finish, and a tip in after a teammate’s miss.