By Mark Clark
It was an exhibition of the good, the bad and the ugly for the Central High Lady Red Devils over the holiday season. The team went 2-3 in a pair of tournaments and failed to meet its own expectations until after the holiday season came to a close.
Carolyn Wright’s team, 12-7 overall, went 1-1 in the Southeastern Invitational Tournament at Northview High in Dothan and took second place. In the annual William Henry Shaw Tournament in Columbus, the Lady Red Devils were 1-2 and took an ugly loss at the hands of Carver High of Columbus in its final game of the tournament. Since then, though, the Lady Red Devils have gone 3-0 and earned their first area victory of the season.
“We didn’t do as well as I had hoped during the holidays. We came in second in Dothan and went 1-2 at the Shaw tournament. We have got to get back to working on getting passing grades on our report card. We set the goals we want to reach each game and then see how we do. Right now, we are not reaching our goals. We need to get better at free throws, to get better at rebounding and get fewer turnovers,” Wright said of her team.
Central opened the new year with a 59-39 victory over Lanett High on the road. The Lady Red Devils trailed in a close contest 21-20 at halftime. In the third quarter, Central outscored Lanett 19-7 to lead 39-28. The Lady Red Devils kept the pressure on in the final quarter and outscored their opponents 20-11 to win 59-39.
Aliyah Spivey led Central’s scorers with 12 points. Morgan Ficklin scored 10 points for Central. The team’s leading rebounder was Nya Upshaw with six.
Central followed that victory with another one in its first area game – 57-13 against Smiths Station. The game was never in doubt from the start. The Lady Red Devils ran ahead for a 20-3 lead in the first quarter. They led 39-6 at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, Central held a 57-8 lead. Central did not score in the final eight minutes against Smiths.
No Lady Red Devils player scored in double figures. Alleya King and Spivey both had nine points. Jasmine Burts led the team with five rebounds.
In their final game last week, the Lady Red Devils defeated Shaw in double overtime 51-45. Shaw led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter. The game was tied at 21-21 at the half. When the third quarter ended, Shaw led 30-28. The game end in regulation at 36-36. Both teams scored eight points in the first overtime period. In the second one, Central outscored Shaw 7-1 to win 51-45.
Erin Johnson scored 15 points to lead Central. Sierra Roberts had eight rebounds.
Central will face Auburn High tomorrow night at home in its second area contest. Next Tuesday, the team will travel to Montgomery to face Sidney Lanier High. Central played Eufaula this past Tuesday night after Citizen deadline.