DEKALB — A barrage of turnovers and some solid bench play cemented a Sam Dale Tournament championship for Northeast Lauderdale at Kemper County High School Friday night.
The Lady Trojans (6-8) took advantage of 26 Quitman turnovers to pull away down the stretch in a 53-34 victory.
In the first quarter, Northeast was able to connect on five 3-pointers to take the edge, 15-11. Head coach Lewis Lightsey was impressed with his defense and the havoc it created.
“We were able to capitalize on some created turnovers early and turn that into some points,” he said. “While we missed a few lay-ups early on, we were able to connect from beyond the arc.”
Neesha Moss and Daisha Robinson both had a pair of 3s in the first. They finished the game with 11 points apiece. Robinson, who took over point when Molly Moore got into early foul trouble, received praise from her head coach.
“The bench and other players who had to step for us really did a tremendous job tonight,” Lightsey said. “I was really proud of the way we ran our half-court press and the effect it had on the turnover margin.”
After taking a 25-20 edge into halftime, the Lady Trojans made some adjustments and took control of the game in the third quarter. They outscored the Lady Panthers 16-5 during that time frame. Two turnovers resulted in five straight points for Moore via a lay-up and a 3-pointer to put Northeast up 37-24 with 2:15 remaining in the third.
Quitman would ride the success of Lannie McCoy in an attempt to climb back into the game, but the effort fell short. She had six straight points early that gave Quitman its only lead of the game at 10-6 in the first. McCoy led all scorers with 14 points.
The Lady Trojans will play Heidelberg at home on Tuesday night.
SOUTHEAST GIRLS 60, KEMPER CO. 23
The Lady Tigers rolled over Kemper County in the girls consolation game. After taking a 33-3 advantage into halftime, Southeast continued its three point exhibition in a 60-23 win.
Shakira Wilson led all scorers with 16 points, including four of the Lady Trojans eight three pointers. J’Nyah Moore added 12 points.
SOUTHEAST BOYS 46, KEMPER CO. 40
Kemper County led 21-18 at halftime, but was unable to hold on as the Tigers put up 20 points in the fourth quarter to secure a win. Delance Gillespie scored 16 points for Kemper County while Jalen Smith scored 15 for the Tigers.