By Thomas Sellers Jr.
A quick glimpse of the standings entering Friday night, it was easy to see the Munford Lady Cougars were unbeaten in District 13-3A play and a win away from No. 20.
But Munford Head Coach Steve Poindexter wasn’t thinking about that benchmark. He had two thoughts on his mind, improving for the district tournament and literally rebounding from a loss to the Briarcrest Lady Saints.
“Like I told our kids before the game, ‘We got beat on Tuesday,’” he said. “‘We all know why we got beat. So the focus shouldn’t be on who we’re playing. The focus should be on lets learn from our mistakes and lets get better at these areas where we have weaknesses.’”
Munford would try to bounce back in their home gymnasium and work on their Achilles’ heel rebounding against the rival Brighton Lady Cardinals. The Lady Cougars were able to win the battle of the boards and the game 65-30.
“I thought there were a lot of good things,” Poindexter noted. “Our leading scorer has a stomach virus. She looked like a zombie out there.”
While Robneisha “Bird” Lee gave it a go, her teammates took care of business in the second quarter. The Lady Cardinals hung around in the first quarter only trailing 10-6 after 8 minutes.
Then the Lady Cougars busted out with a 17-3 run to build a 27-9 lead. After Lady Cardinal Alaina Bierdz hit a layup in the lane to make the score 10-8, Munford forward Alex Turner hit a three-pointer to spark the Lady Cougars.
Munford sophomore guard Kierra Richardson hit a jumper. Then the hot shooter of the night lauched a three-pointer. Shalyiah Wiggins hit a three-pointer to make the score 18-9.
Turner added another triple to make the score 21-9. Richardson added three points from the foul line making the scoreboard read 24-9. After a Bird foul shot, Wiggins hit a pair of free throws.
McCallie Ruffin ended Brighton’s drought with a layup making the score 27-11. Then Wiggins answered her bucket with an NBA-range three-pointer. Munford led 32-11 at the break.
The Lady Cardinals had better production on the offensive end in the third quarter with 15 points. But the Lady Cougars popped in 17 points. Wiggins hit two of her game-high 26 points with a layup in the lane.
After that made the score 41-14. The Lady Cardinals led by Morgan Shaver went on to outscore Munford 12-8 to conclude the period.
In the fourth quarter Munford hit 16 points while holding Brighton to four points. The victory kept the Lady Cougars unbeaten in league play and made their overall record 20-5.
“That’s nice, but once again it’s regular season,” Poindexter said. “Twenty-plus wins is not going to mean anything in two weeks for now if we’re not winning then. I think it’s a great accomplishment as far as this being the third year and where we started to where we are now. That’s something to be proud of.”
But Poindexter said his main focus is the upcoming District 13-3A Tournament and the postseason.
“I hope our player’s attention is on taking Monday and next Friday as an opportunity to keep sharpening up,” he concluded. “Because next week is tournament time. It doesn’t matter if you’re 0-25 or 25-0, it doesn’t matter. Everybody’s record will be 0-0 after next Friday.”