The Lady Knights played perhaps one of their best halves of basketball in years on Saturday night. Unfortunately, they also played perhaps one of their worst halves of basketball in the same game, with the end result being a 57-35 loss in their first game of the season.
In a game with the high touted Lady Vikings of Taylor County, the Lady Knights found themselves down 9-2 score at the end of the first quarter and 27-6 at halftime. Upson-Lee struggled to get anything going offensively in the first half, even though they played pretty good defense. It seemed as if there were some type of invisible lid over the Upson-Lee basket.
“We just could not get anything to fall down for us”, said Lady Knights head coach Bart Phillips. “They struggled early on also, but they were able to find themselves offensively in the second quarter, something we could never do. I thought our effort was excellent in the second half. We were down by 21 at halftime, and the girls could have easily just folded up shop, but they came out and showed some pride in the second half and played really well.”
As a matter of fact, the Lady Knights outscored the Lady Vikings by an 18 -8 score in the third quarter, fighting their way back into the ball game. Keondra Ausbrooks knocked down the Lady Knights’ first shot of the fourth quarter, and all of a sudden the Lady Vikings lead had been cut to 35-26, but that’s as close as the Lady Knights could get, Taylor County exploded, going on a 22-9 run to end the game, sealing the Lady Knights’ 57-35 defeat. The Lady Knights played Taylor County to a 30-29 ball game in the second half, but it was 18 turnovers in the first half which sealed their fate.
Ausbrooks paced the Lady Knights with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Kiashona Carter added 11 points. The Lady Knights were 7 of 21 from the free throw line, and Carter made all seven of the team’s free throws, finishing 7 of 11. The rest of the team was 0 for 10 from the charity stripe. Quasha Hutcherson added four points, while Jacarra Cherry, Jaleesa Gibson, and Kyjah Kendal each chipped in with two points a piece in the loss.
The Lady Knights will travel to take on the Lady Tigers from Stockbridge High School tonight in their first Region4 game of the year. Tip off is slated for 6 p.m.