LCHS girls basketball starts season 4-0

  • Lumpkin County’s Isabel Davenport forces a Lady Leopard turnover with her tenacious defense.
    Lumpkin County’s Isabel Davenport forces a Lady Leopard turnover with her tenacious defense.

The LCHS varsity girls basketball team continued its strong start to the 2019-2020 season when the Lady Indians defeated Chestatee and Banks County last week to remain undefeated at 4-0.
Dealing with the news that star freshman Mary Mullinax is out for the remainder of the season due to an injury she sustained in the team’s second game of the year versus White County, the Lady Indians knew going into the week that they would need to fill the void left by Mullinax’s absence.
Mullinax’s injury is a huge loss, but the team got exactly the kind of solid performances it needed from the rest of its roster in order to remain undefeated last week.
It would be superb play from freshmen Kate Jackson and Lexi Pierce and senior Madisyn Echols that would allow the Lady Indians to overpower the Chestatee Lady War Eagles when the two teams met up for the second time this season in Lumpkin’s home opener at the Longhouse at the LCHS gym on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
While Chestatee focused on shutting down Lumpkin point guard Isabel Davenport through double and triple teams, the young talent of the Lady Indians stepped up and delivered an inspired effort.
Jackson, who recorded her first double-double of her high school career in the first week of the season, once again showcased her scoring and rebounding ability versus the Lady War Eagles with her second double-double in as many games.
Jackson knocked down 17 points against Chestatee and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the Lady Indians’ offense.
Pierce also helped pick up the slack of not having Mullinax and of Davenport being shackled by Chestatee’s defense by scoring 12 points for Lumpkin. Pierce also forced three turnovers, recorded two rebounds and three assists in the contest.
Echols, the lone senior on the team, put in a solid performance as well for Lumpkin, scoring 11 points, pulling down six rebounds and recording an assist.
The strong play from Jackson, Pierce and Echols combined with the smothering defense of the Lady Indians allowed Lumpkin to cruise to a 48-27 victory.
The win improved the Lady Indians’ overall record to 3-0.
Lumpkin followed its win over Chestatee with an amazing fourth quarter comeback win over the Lady Leopards when the Lady Indians hosted Banks County at the Longhouse on Friday, Nov. 22.
The Lady Indians began the game fast and furious with a host of fast break opportunities and lock down defense. Lumpkin built a 13-0 lead in the opening minutes and maintained a 21-13 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Things took a turn for Lumpkin in the second quarter, however, and the Lady Leopards were able to fight their way back into the game with an 11-5 run.
By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Lady Indians’ lead was cut to 26-24.
Things got even worse for Lumpkin after the halftime break. Mental mistakes, turnovers and ineffective shooting by the Lady Indians allowed Banks to take the lead with a 13-2 run in the third quarter. Lumpkin trialed 37-28 going into the final quarter of play.
With the Lady Indians struggling for two straight quarters, it appeared that the team’s undefeated start to the season was in jeopardy.
However, the Lady Indians’ defense, led by stellar play from Davenport, intensified in the fourth quarter and Lumpkin slowly chipped away at the Banks County lead.
Big three-pointers from Jackson and Pierce drew the two teams even midway through the quarter and the Lady Indians never looked back from there.
In the end, Lumpkin outscored the Lady Leopards 25-7 in the final quarter to earn a 53-44 comeback victory.
Makenzie Caldwell, who began the game with 13 first half points, led the Lady Indians in scoring with 19 points in the victory. Davenport followed right behind Caldwell with 14 points and helped her team seal the comeback with her tenacious defense and by knocking down 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the second half.
Pierce finished the game with eight points, Echols contributed seven points and Jackson added five points in the win.
The comeback victory allowed the Lady Indians to remain undefeated to start the season and improved the team’s overall record to 4-0.
At press time, the Lady Indians were set to take part in the first day of the Jefferson Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by Jefferson High School on Saturday, Nov. 23, versus Druid Hills High School. No official results were available.
Lumpkin was set to finish the three-day tournament on Monday, Nov. 25, and Tuesday, Nov. 26.
The Lady Indians will step back on the court when they travel to Cherokee Bluff on Tuesday, Dec. 3, to square off with the Lady Bears in Region 7-AAA play. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.