The Lady Gators got off to a good start for the season as they played three games in four days and won them all to start the season with a 3-0 mark.
Glenwood started the year with a Monday game (Nov. 18), going on the road to defeat the defending state class AA champions Abbeville Christian, 60-56, in overtime in Abbeville.
The next night, the Lady Gators returned home and downed Evangel Christian by 20 points, 55-35 at “The Pit.” That was followed on Nov. 21 with a win against cross-town rival Brookstone, downing the Lady Cougars, 55-43.
The win against Abbeville Christian was especially satisfying to Glenwood as last year the Lady Generals swept both games.
“Mya (Brooks) had a monster game and Katie (Suarez) hit eight of eight free throws in the fourth quarter with overtime and that made the difference,” coach Julie Humphries said.
Brooks was credited with 25 points and 19 boards, while Suarez had a three-point basket to go along with her free throws for 11 points. Of Brooks’s total, 13 came in the fourth quarter. That was important as Sarah Thomas had 24 to lead Abbeville with 14 of her points coming in the final period.
“Payton Corbett got into foul trouble in the first half and had three fouls before fouling out in the fourth, but we held it together,” Humphries said. “Katie was four of four from the foul line in that overtime.”
On Nov. 19, the Lady Gators used a smothering defense and avenged last year’s four-point loss to the Lady Lions in the first period.
Running their offense, Glenwood scored 20 points in the first and out-scored their visitors, 20-6 total, taking a lead they never relinquished. In fact, the Lady Lions did not get into double figures as a team in that game until the third period.
“They had two tall girls that clogged the middle, but I liked the way Payton guided the offense and how aggressive Macie (Fanning) and Mya played on offense,” Humphries said. “Payton did not score but had several assists to Brooks and to others and played some great defense.”
“Truly this was a team win. Nobody was selfish out there and everyone on the team played a role, even the bench as freshman Emma head came off and scored six points in the fourth,” she added.
Brooks had her second straight 25-point game, including hitting a three-point shot in the first half. Karley Blankenship led the Lady Lions with 17, but 6-5 post player Zoria Johnson, despite blocking eight shots, had only one point before fouling out of the contest.
On Nov. 21, the Lady Gators and the Lady Cougars played a tight contest with Glenwood holding a slim 30-25 lead at the half. However, Glenwood’s defense put the clamps on Brookstone in the third period, out-scoring their opponents, 12-2, to take command of the game.
Brooks, despite having to sit out the third period, scored 19 points to again lead the Lady Gators. Suarez was the big offensive weapon of the Lady Gators as she scored 14 of her 15 points in the first half, including hitting four three-point shots to open up the Lady Gators inside game.
“I’m back,” said a smiling Suarez after the contest.
Ja’Marra McDowell had her best scoring night as she was also in double figures with 11. The Lady Cougars top scorer Taiylor Williams had 16 points but hit three of her baskets when Humphries cleared her bench and put in her subs when Glenwood had a 20-point in the fourth.
“We changed our defense from man-to-man to a box and one, because we missed some switches and had some breakdowns and it seemed to get us into a good rhythm,” Humphries said. “I did not know they only scored two in the third until after the game.”
“This was a good win for us. We won ugly but that’s a good sign when your team wins and you did not play your best,” Humphries said of her team’s efforts. “I was pleased to see the way that Katie came through for us on offense and Payton played some great defense out there.”