By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The first half of Friday night’s game was ideal for Munford Lady Cougars Head Coach Steve Poindexter.
Against the district and Tipton County rivals the Brighton Lady Cardinals, Munford jumped out to a 33-12 lead after two quarters.
After coming out from the Brighton Gymnasium locker room, the Lady Cougars coasted to a 59-38 victory to improve to 2-0 in District 13-3A play.
“In the past three or four weeks, there has definitely been some improvement,” Poindexter noted of his team. “As good as we looked in the first half, I thought we looked as bad in the second half.
“I don’t think we played with a lot of intelligence on the offensive end,” he continued. “We didn’t make swings. We didn’t make them work defensively.”
Munford’s offense had more flow in the first half under the direction of Shania “Maine Girl” Johnson and Kyla Taylor. The point guards ran the offensive sets leading to baskets for teammates like Johnna Jones, Dejanae Potter and Gabby Crawford.
Crawford displayed her all-around offensive game in the first quarter with 8 points. After a pair of foul shots, Crawford hit a jumper over three defenders. Then the sophomore standout drove to the rim for a bucket that made the score 12-2.
Later in the first quarter, Crawford call for the ball in the post. With a move, Crawford elevated to the rim for two points making the score 17-2.
Johnson did find the time to make some shots of her own. Her jumper late in the first quarter gave the Lady Cougars a 19-2 advantage.
Brighton ended its drought just before the buzzer when Lindsey Morrissett made a layup. The score was 19-4 heading into the second quarter.
In the second quarter Crawford came out hot with two more baskets in the post. The Lady Cardinals had more offensive output in the period with baskets from Morrissett and Makayla Rose.
But the Lady Cougars outscored Brighton 14-8 in the second quarter to build a 33-12 halftime lead. The Lady Cardinals tallied 16 points in the third quarter alone by hitting the boards.
Rebounding led to second-chance baskets for Shayna Johnson.
The Lady Cardinal senior hit the first two buckets for Brighton in the third quarter.
The Lady Cougars were paced by their S. Johnson. Shania made a steal leading to an easy layup. And Shania Johnson also hit a three-pointer late in the period that make the score 46-22. Munford was ahead 48-28 after three quarters.
Both teams traded baskets throughout the fourth quarter with Munford scoring 11 points and Brighton tallying 10 points.
“They killed us on the boards,” Poindexter noted about the second half. “It’s about effort. They were in there fighting for position. We’re just in there standing.”
Poindexter said the first half performance of his team illustrates they can have a special season. But the second half displayed they still have to grow mentally.
“That’s not good because what that let’s you know our kids let that score at halftime dictate how hard our kids played and how focused they were,” he said. “And that’s not championship effort right there. I am disappointed in that.
“I’m happy we won the game but we can learn from that,” Poindexter concluded. “But if you’re going to win anything big, you’ve got to focus the whole game and get better. I don’t think in the second half, we were focused on getting better.”