By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Victory margin isn’t always an indicator of a team’s progression.
Sometimes a win doesn’t illustrate the growth and maturity of a ball club. The Munford Lady Cougars earned a 41-point win over their rivals the Brighton Lady Cardinals in early January.
But the Lady Cougars dropped two games in the week of Jan. 20-23 with one decision going to the Dyer County Lady Choctaws in a thriller.
Munford had bounced back including beating the Lady Cardinals Friday night in the Munford Gymnasium 56-26. Although the margin was just 30-points this time, Lady Cougars Head Coach Steve Poindexter noted the win was the ideal conclusion to a solid stretch.
“We’ve had a really good week,” he said. “We got beat by Dyer County last Friday. It was another game that could go either way. I think in a game like that, I’m looking at what they’ve got on their side, then what we’ve got on our side. They’ve got more kids that have been in those situations than we do. I think it’s an experience thing.
“If we’re fortunate enough to get to game three with them in a couple of weeks,” he added, “I hoping that won’t necessarily be the factor.”
Munford’s lineup features three seniors and three underclassmen with a majority of the playing time. The 12th graders leading the charge are Kierra Richardson, Phenicia Howard and Lindsey Owen. And the trio assisting them are sophomores Shania Johnson and Johnna Jones and freshman Gabby Crawford.
It was Crawford dominating inside early that helped the Lady Cougars take a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Munford led 12-2 after one quarter.
The Lady Cougars started the second quarter on an 8-0 run with Crawford scoring near the rim. Brighton stopped the Munford run with a Lindsey Morrissett three-pointer.
Munford regained control of the half when Shania Johnson hit a triple of her own to make the score 23-6. The Lady Cougars were ahead 25-10 at the break.
The Lady Cougars used big shots from Howard in the third quarter to keep the Lady Cardinals in a double-digit deficit. Howard scored on a three-point play and drained a three-pointer to help Munford stay ahead 45-17. Both squads scored 9 points in the fourth quarter and Munford kept a hold on second place in District 13-3A behind Dyer County.
After the defeat to the Lady Choctaws Jan. 23, Poindexter said his girls have had good practices, working hard in scrimmages against the JV boys. Poindexter said with each game and minute on the court, he hopes his players are gaining the experience needed to live up to their potential of reaching State.
“There were some good things out there tonight for sure,” he concluded. “We moved the ball pretty well. We got good swings and when people were open we made the extra pass. But if there’s one thing we need to improve on now before the tournament, our rebounding effort is just not good. There’s no other way I can describe. We just don’t consistency make an effort to rebound.”