The Upson-Lee Lady Knights took part in the Lamar County Christmas Tournament last weekend. Upson-Lee struggled with the host Lady Trojans from Lamar County in the first round, losing by a 52-36 score.
The Lady Knights played much better in their game against Griffin on Saturday, holding an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, but ultimately falling to the Lady Bears by a 43-39 score.
“We definitely did not play well in the first game,” said Lady Knights head coach Bart Phillips. “We really struggled from the free throw line, and defensively we just kind of stood around and watched as they got multiple shots with offensive rebounds. In the second game against Griffin, we played much better. I thought defensively we played well, and we were able to limit them to one shot. Offensively we shot better from the free throw line. Our effort was much better than the day before. I felt like other than the last four minutes of the game, we played the best we have played all year. It unfortunate that we didn’t win that game.”
The Lady Knights faced off with Lamar County in the opening round, and fell behind 10-2 early in the first quarter. The Lady Knights shot a dismal 4-of-25 from the free throw line, a 16 percent clip. At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Trojans held a 16-6 lead on the Lady Knights.
Upson-Lee played much better in the second half of the game, but ultimately the poor performance at the free throw line was costly in the end. The Lady Knights and Lady Trojans scored 23 points each in the second half of the game, but the Lady Knights lost the game 52-36.
Jasmine Davis led the Lady Knights with 11 points and eight rebounds. Kishaona Carter added nine points, Ke’Ondra Ausbrooks scored seven points, Ekorea Gray finished with five points, while Demeshia Russell chipped in with four points.
“We have been working hard in practice as much as we can on our free throw shooting,” said Phillips. “We want to win every game we play in, as any team would, but in our eyes our season doesn’t start until Jan. 4 when we begin our sub-region schedule against North Clayton.”
In the Lady Knights’ second game of the tournament, they took on a Griffin team which lost to Pike County in the first round of the tournament.
Upson-Lee jumped out to an early 11-5 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Knights were 7 of 9 from the free throw line in the first quarter, and ultimately led the Lady Bears 22-17 at halftime. Both teams struggled offensively in the third quarter, as the Lady Knights continued to hold a lead on the Lady Bears.
However, in the fourth quarter the Lady Bears’ Shacoria Jones exploded for 14 of her 25 points in the game, outscoring the Lady Knights by herself 14-11. The sophomore was named to the All-Tournament Team. Griffin went on to win the game 43-39.
Ke’Ondra Ausbrooks paced the Lady Knights with 11 points. Ekorea Gray added nine points, Kiashona Carter scored six points, Jasmine Davis finished with five points, while Demeshia Russell and Quasha Hutcherson each chipped in with four points in the loss.