Categorized | Sports

Lady Cardinals outplay rival Munford for three quarters, but Lady Cougars walk out with victory

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Girls Collins vs Wherry

Brighton's Johnson and Munford's Richardson combined for 50 points.

Brighton’s Johnson and Munford’s Richardson combined for 50 points.

Brighton Lady Cardinal Danielle Collins attacks the basket but commits a charging foul on Munford's Phenicia Howard in the second quarter Friday night.

Brighton Lady Cardinal Danielle Collins attacks the basket but commits a charging foul on Munford’s Phenicia Howard in the second quarter Friday night.

Girls Richardson in lane

So many storylines emerged from the first Brighton Lady Cardinal vs. Munford Lady Cougar match up.
The obvious story was a District 13-3A battle between Tipton County rivals. But Friday night spectators in the Munford Gymnasium were talking about the showdown between Brighton’s Shayna Johnson and Munford’s Kierra Richardson.
Another subject of conversation was the Lady Cardinals out-playing Munford for three quarters. But for Lady Cougars Head Coach Steve Poindexter, his team’s 48-43 win over Brighton produced a familiar plot.
“Once again, here we are with the same thing,” he said. “We’re all over the place, big time inconsistent play.”
Poindexter said if the stat book keep record of heart, the Lady Cardinals were the clear victor in that category.
“They wanted to beat us more than we wanted to beat them,” he noted. “It just comes down to a matter of wanting to improve.”
Brighton Head Coach Kent Cates’ squad has improved. And the first half was a clear indication tying the Lady Cougars at 7-7 after the first quarter.
The Lady Cardinals were ahead 14-8 in the second quarter after a Johnson three-pointer. Richardson had an answer with a triple of her own to make the score 14-11.
Brighton was looking to add to its lead when freshman guard Danielle Collins drove to the rim for a layup. Collins’ penetration had been working throughout the first half creating layups for herself and open shots for Johnson.
But with 3 minutes and 30 seconds left in the second quarter, Collins drive resulted in a charge call. With her second foul, Collins was heading to the bench.
“That was huge,” Cates noted. “Every break went to them. Every loose ball or call out of bounds seem to go to them. The refs called a good game but I felt if some of those calls and plays went our way in the first half we could have had a bigger lead going into halftime. But they have a good coach, good players and some experience on their side.”
Munford took advantage of Collins absence with Richardson hitting a three-pointer. Then the junior guard made a steal and drove to the rim for a layup and a foul. The three-point play made the score 19-14 in favor of the Lady Cougars.
But Brighton rallied to outscore Munford 8-2 down the stretch with Johnson tallying 6 points to take a 22-21 lead into the locker room.
“We have to win all four quarters,” Cates said. “But that third quarter, I hope it’s just some of the inexperience. Tonight for the first time I started two freshmen and two sophomores.”
Collins and fellow freshman Makayla Rose were participants in another learning experience for the Lady Cardinals in the third quarter. Munford scored 20 points while holding Brighton to 4 points.
“Third quarter was the only quarter of the game I recognized the team on the floor for me,” Poindexter said. “The other three, I don’t know who that was. That’s not Munford.”
Munford played Munford basketball in the third period with Richardson staying hot with three triples. Her third three-pointer made the score 39-26.
Richardson finished with a game-high 26 points. Her Brighton counterpart Johnson had 24 points.
The Lady Cardinals got back on track in the fourth quarter scoring 17 points. Brighton held Munford to 7 points down the stretch. But the Lady Cougars’ third quarter was good enough for a league and rivalry win.
These two teams meet again Jan. 31 at Brighton with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m.

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