By Ronald Frazier
Despite the loss of a key starter and the top senior substitute off the bench the Lady Gators continued their winning ways and improved to 11-8 on the season as they defeated both Springwood and Lakeside in games played on the Jan. 15 and 17.
The win over Springwood on the road was big for the Lady Gators as that game opened area play. After a slow start, the Glenwood offense got rolling in the second half and outscored the Lady Wildcats 27-7 to take the win, 40-19.
“We struggled in the first half scoring and no shots were falling for us. We were down two points at the end of the first period but kept up the pressure and it paid off,” said Glenwood coach Julie Humphries about the victory.
The Lady Gators put the clamps down on defense and for the second straight game held their opponent scoreless in the fourth period.
Leading scorer for Glenwood was Morgan Grant with 14 points as every starter chipped in the scoring column. Inside players Macie Fanning and Ariana Pinter each scored seven and guards Jaycee Griggs and Payton Corbett added six each.
“Ariana is just a freshman and she has been thrust into the lineup but she has given us a real boost of energy on the court and on defense,” said Humphries of her new starter.
The Lady Gators then came home to play the Lakeside Lady Chiefs, a team they lost a close battle to in December in Eufaula.
Despite Sarah Beasley scoring 15 points for the visitors, the Gator defense forced Lakeside into 19 turnovers and handed them a 47-26 loss.
Grant and Jaycee Griggs, who got hot from the three-point line in the second half, kept the scoring up as each had 16 points and the two-pronged offense was too much for Lakeside to handle.
Grant led the team in the first half as she had 12 of her 16 by intermission. But she took a back seat to Griggs who hit five threes in the second half and it overwhelmed the Lakeside defense.
“We do not have the expectations we usually have with this group because we have a lot of newcomers,” said Humphries. “I get frustrated sometimes with our ball handling but I have not gotten frustrated with the players efforts out there.”
“To see Morgan breaking the press and dribbling the ball down the court, seeing Jaycee hit those threes and Macie hitting the boards to get us some big rebounds and Ariana and Payton giving it ever ounce of energy is great,” Humphries added.
“Right now I have a total of eight players for each game and they have tried to do everything I have asked. We are not the big favorites for every game now but those players are working very hard,” she said.
Senior Kassie Kile has a boot for her ankle injury, and there was hope she would return this past Tuesday against Springwood. They will play arch rival Lee-Scott tonight at home.