Girls basketball - Lumpkin earns scrimmage win over Jackson

  • Lady Indians point guard Isabel Davenport goes up and drains a contested three-pointer against the Lady Panthers. Davenport knocked down 22 points in the Lumpkin victory.
    Lady Indians point guard Isabel Davenport goes up and drains a contested three-pointer against the Lady Panthers. Davenport knocked down 22 points in the Lumpkin victory.
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Despite six of the nine players on the LCHS varsity girls basketball team roster being freshman, LCHS head girls basketball coach David Dowse believes that his players are poised to make a strong run during the 2019-2020 season.
“Our team goals might change slightly from season to season, but never drastically,” said Dowse. “I believe that would be a disservice to the senior class. Our goal will always be to reach our full potential individually and collectively. And, our expectation is to win. With that said, this year’s team has three specific goals to win 15-plus regular season games, to win seven-plus regular season region games and to advance to the AAA State Tournament.”
That belief turned to reality when the Lady Indians met up with the Lady Panthers of Jackson County on the road on Thursday, Nov. 7, for a pre-season scrimmage game.
Despite not having one of their three returning players from last year with Mackenzie Caldwell sidelined with an injury sustained during the volleyball season, the Lady Indians received a phenomenal performance from freshman Mary Mullinax and a strong performance from veteran Isabel Davenport to easily defeat the Lady Panthers 58-33.
“Isabel and Mary work well in tandem,” Dowse said. “Isabel has great passing skills and vision, and Mary has the motor to defend and run the floor for 32 minutes. Ultimately though, our ability to get out on the break comes down to a willingness to defend and rebound. If we do that, we can get out and run a bit with a fairly athletic squad.”
After falling behind 2-0 to start the contest, Lumpkin scored 10 unanswered points to take an early 10-2 advantage over the Lady Panthers. The Lady Indians went on to outscore Jackson County 18-14 in the first quarter of play, thanks in large part to 12 first quarter points by Mullinax.
The freshman displayed boundless energy and effort on both sides of the court and also showcased her knack to knock down buckets in the first quarter of action between the two teams.
Lumpkin continued to build on its lead in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Panthers 16-9, and held a 34-23 advantage going into the halftime break.
Along with the strong offensive contribution from Mullinax, the Lady Indians also received strong play from their veteran point guard Davenport in the first half of play. Davenport connected for three three-pointers and knocked down 3-of-6 from the free throw line in the first half.
Mullinax and Davenport accounted for the majority of Lumpkin’s points in the first half. Mullinax went into halftime with 14 points and Davenport went into the break with 12 points.
Freshmen Kate Jackson and Lexi Pierce rounded out the top four scorers of the first half for the Lady Indians. Jackson struck for five points and Pierce connected for three points.
Lumpkin continued to pull away from Jackson County during the third quarter of the game. The Lady Indians held the Lady Panthers to just four points in the third quarter and maintained a 43-27 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Indians gave up just six more points to Jackson County in the contest. The solid defense from Lumpkin in the fourth quarter translated into another 15 points to the scoreboard for the Lady Indians in the final quarter.
In the end, the Lady Indians earned themselves a 58-33 win over Jackson County in the scrimmage game.
Mullinax had a stellar night offensively and dropped 22 points against Jackson County. Mullinax went 9-of-14 from the floor including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Mulinax also had seven rebounds, an assist, a steal and three deflections in the contest.
Davenport also dropped 22 points on the Lady Panthers in the game. Davenport nailed four three-pointers, had four assists, three steals, nine defensive rebounds and a block versus Jackson County.
Jackson finished the game with eight points for the Lady Indians and showcased her strength in the low post throughout the contest. Along with her eight points, Jackson also pulled down eight rebounds and recorded two steals in the Lumpkin victory.
Pierce rounded out the top four scorers for the Lady Indians with five points. Pierce also showed off her defensive prowess, collecting 10 rebounds and nabbing four steals.
Although pleased with the win, Dowse did see some things that he thought the team could have done better.
“We need to continue to develop a tough mindedness that embraces every possession,” Dowse said. “I thought, at times versus Jackson County, that we were a bit sloppy on offense and not fully dialed in defensively. The good news is that our players are eager to improve and will accept the challenge to get better in these areas.”
Dowse was pleased with the energy and effort that his freshmen players gave, especially Mullinax and Jackson. Dowse also credited the veteran leadership of Davenport for helping the team stay focused on the court.
“Leadership is always important, but particularly this season with such a young team,” Dowse said. “Fortunately, our culture is such that our returning players welcome the talents and personalities of our freshmen and, in turn, our freshman welcome the advice and direction of our upperclassmen.”
The scrimmage was the final tuneup for the team before the start of the 2019-2020 regular season.
At press time, the Lady Indians were set to travel to Chestatee High School to take on the Lady War Eagles to open up their 2019-2020 season on Tuesday, Nov. 12. No official results were available.
The LCHS varsity girls basketball team will travel to White County this Friday, Nov. 15, to square off with the Lady Warriors in a non-conference game. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.