Lady Indians basketball looks to thrive amid challenges

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  • Lady Indians freshman Lexi Pierce gets two points off a layup. With a season-ending injury for Mary Mullinax, Pierce has been picking up the slack for Lumpkin over the course of the past few games.
    Lady Indians freshman Lexi Pierce gets two points off a layup. With a season-ending injury for Mary Mullinax, Pierce has been picking up the slack for Lumpkin over the course of the past few games.
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The LCHS varsity girls basketball team suffered its first two losses of the 2019-2020 season during the Tabo’s Tipoff Classic Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by Jefferson High School last week, dropping the Lady Indians’ overall record to 5-2.
With freshman Mary Mullinax out for the season due to injury, the Lady Indians went into the Tabo’s Tipoff Classic with just seven players on their roster.
LCHS head girls basketball coach David Dowse knew that both psychical and mental fatigue would be a factor when the Lady Indians stepped on to the court to battle it out with Druid Hills in the first round of the tournament on Saturday, Nov. 23. The coach also knew that his players would have to put in an extraordinary effort versus the tough teams they would see at the tournament if they were going to pull out some victories.
The Lady Indians got off to a solid start versus Druid Hills, but the mental fatigue that Dowse was concerned about heading into the tournament reared its ugly head late in the game.
“We made some mental mistakes, turned the ball over and missed some easy shots late in the game and it cost us,” said Dowse. “With missed shots and turnovers, we probably left about 30 points on the court.”
The Lady Indians turned the ball over 25 times in the contest and Druid Hills was able to hold on to a close lead late to eke out a 42-40 win over Lumpkin.
Mackenzie Caldwell led the offensive charge for the Lady Indians in the loss, scoring 12 points. Freshmen Lexi Pierce and Kate Jackson each contributed eight points and junior point guard Isabel Davenport added five points in the loss to Druid Hills.
The loss marked the first of the season for Lumpkin, dropping the Lady Indians’ overall record to 4-1.
Lumpkin followed its loss to Druid Hills with a second round matchup against the Winder-Barrow Lady Bulldogs on Monday, Nov. 25.
The Lady Indians got off to a fast start versus the Lady Bulldogs and held a 16-7 lead after the first quarter of play.
Combined with a tenacious defense that held Winder-Barrow to below double digit scoring in both the first and second quarters, Davenport delivered a spectacular first half offensively for Lumpkin. The junior point guard knocked down 15 first half points to help the Lady Indians take a 31-12 advantage into the halftime break.
The Lady Bulldogs cut the gap in the their quarter, but Lumpkin’s lead proved to be too much for Winder-Barrow to come back from.
Davenport led the Lady Indians in the game with 23 points, giving Lumpkin the offensive firepower it needed to secure the win.
Pierce, who has picked up her game since the Mullinax injury, dropped 13 points on Winder-Barrow. Caldwell followed right behind Pierce with 12 points and Jackson finished the game with six points.
The win improved the Lady Indians’ overall record to 5-1.
“They played well,” Dowse said. “We did a much better job of protecting the ball and making good decisions.”
Lumpkin concluded the Tabo’s Tipoff Classic Thanksgiving Tournament when they took to the hardwood to square off with the Etowah Lady Eagles on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
As if the Lady Indians’ roster numbers weren’t already scant enough, Lumpkin found itself down to just six players when they took to the court to battle it out with Etowah.
The game started as a back-and-forth affair that led to the Lady Eagles holding a 12-11 lea after the first quarter of play. Etowah got a little more breathing room in the second quarter when the Lady Eagles outscored Lumpkin 16-8. The result of the solid, second quarter run by Etowah was a 28-19 deficit for the Lady Indians going into the halftime break.
The Lady Indians charged back behind a strong second half performance from Jackson, and Lumpkin cut the Etowah lead to 38-34 by the end of the third quarter.
Lumpkin kept fighting in the final quarter, and had an opportunity to take the lead in the final seconds when Davenport threw up a three-pointer from the corner. Unfortunately, Davenport’s shot bounced off the far rim and out to give Etowah the victory.
The Lady Eagles defeated the Lady Indians by a final score of 45-43.
Davenport had another solid game for Lumpkin and led the offensive charge with 18 points in the game. Jackson finished with 11 points, Pierce contributed eight points and Caldwell added four points in the defeat.
The loss marked the second of the season for Lumpkin and dropped the Lady Indians’ overall record to 5-2. Both of the Lady Indians’ losses were by a total of four points.
Despite not having quite the tournament they expected or wanted, the Lady Indians did get a chance to play against some strong competition at the tournament which should prepare them for Region 7-AAA play.
At press time, the Lady Indians were set to kickoff region play with their Region 7-AAA opener on the road versus the Cherokee Bluff Lady Bears on Tuesday, Dec. 3. No official results were available.
The LCHS varsity girls basketball team will be back in action Dec. 6, when the Lady Indians host the East Hall Lady Vikings at the Longhouse at the LCHS gymnasium. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.