Franklin County Lady Bulldogs beat rivals

Published 1:04 am Saturday, December 18, 2010

MEADVILLE — Franklin County went into Friday night’s Region 7-3A opener against Jefferson County with a No. 9 ranking in the Clarion-Ledger’s Girls Super 10 poll, a No. 2 ranking in Class 3A and an undefeated record.

That is indeed a lot to play for. However, this was also the Lady Dawgs’ first game in a week. Would there be any concerns by head coach Charles Moore of either a letdown or playing down to the competition?

That question was answered quickly as Franklin County jumped out to a big lead in the opening minutes and went on to defeat Jefferson County 67-48 to improve to 9-0 overall and 1-0 in region play.

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“We did a great job on defense and got a lot of transition buckets,” Moore said. “We played 10 players in the first quarter to keep the pressure on. We played 15 girls tonight.”

Led by senior post players Vintrice Briggs and Jessica Jackson as well as junior guard Kierra Collins, the Lady Dawgs dominated the Lady Tigers in the first half. By the time the first quarter was over, Franklin County led 28-5. The second quarter didn’t see as big of a difference, but Jefferson County was still unable to get in double figures as it managed just nine points and trailed at the half 45-14.

“The margin was big, but I knew we could play defense and create turnovers,” Moore said.

Briggs finished with a game-high 19 points while Jackson had 14 points and Collins added 11 points.

With many of Franklin County’s starters on the bench in the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Dawgs 23-7, but they had way too big of a deficit to overcome.

“Jefferson County played much better in the second half and they handled the pressure better. We were able to get some experience for our underclassmen,” Moore said.

Jefferson County (3-5, 0-2) was led by Keiquanae Smith with 18 points and Jerlyn Johnson with 12 points.

Franklin County will next play at the Picayune Tournament, which takes place on Dec. 27 and 28. Jefferson County plays host to its holiday tournament Dec. 28-30.

Port Gibson 74, Wilkinson County 68

WOODVILLE — Even though Port Gibson has a relatively young team with three juniors and five sophomores, it has been playing like a senior-laden team so far this season.

But since a one-point loss to Lake Providence back on Nov. 24, the Lady Waves haven’t been challenged from start to finish by any of their opponents. Surprisingly, that changed Friday night on the road against a talented but struggling Wilkinson County Lady Wildcats team.

Led by its co-captains, point guard Chicurial Hill and center/forward AndreShae Spiller, and the performances of sophomore guard Kenjita Tarleton and junior guard/forward Rajee McDonald, Port Gibson slipped past Wilkinson County.

Lady Wildcats head coach Trimeka Gaines said the difference in the game was a lack of execution by their defense.

“We didn’t play good, solid defense. We didn’t get back on defense,” Gaines said.

Wilkinson County was able to hold Port Gibson in check in the first quarter, which ended with the Lady Wildcats leading 12-10. Then the Lady Waves found their rhythm in the second quarter and there was very little the Lady Wildcats could do to slow it down. Port Gibson ended up scoring 22 points in that quarter to take a 32-27 halftime lead.

However, Wilkinson County would not go away quietly. Tyeshia Harris, Breshiana Day and Lineasia Palmer did everything they could to keep the Lady Wildcats within striking distance in the third quarter and they ended up outscoring the Lady Waves 19-17 to trail by just three points going into the fourth quarter.

Harris led the Lady Wildcats with 18 points while Day had 16 points and Palmer added 13 points. Lastencia Brown chipped in with 10 points.

Unfortunately, Wilkinson County (1-10) was not able to put enough defensive pressure on Port Gibson to force the Lady Waves into bad shots and turnovers. The result was a 25-22 advantage by Port Gibson.

Tarleton led all scorers with 25 points and McDonald finished with 18 points for Port Gibson (10-1). Hill ended up with 13 points and Spiller scored 11 points.