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Patient approach guide Lady Cougars to victory

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
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Munford Lady Cougar Gabby Crawford makes a post move during the contest against ECS. In that game she reached the 1,000-point mark for her career.

Munford Lady Cougar Gabby Crawford makes a post move during the contest against ECS. In that game she reached the 1,000-point mark for her career.

MEMPHIS — The Munford Lady Cougars have posted some solid numbers in victories so far this season.
Steve Poindexter’s crew has hit the 60-point plateau on a few occasions resulting in a check mark in the lefthand column. But to open the 2016 More Than Basketball Christmas Tournament at Harding Academy the Lady Cougars tallied 42 points against the ECS Lady Eagles.
“We’ve played 12 games,” Poindexter noted. “This was probably the best as far as being patient on offense and not rushing. We haven’t been doing a very good job of running our offense patiently. We would come down, make one pass and then jack up a shot. Today was a lot different, we were a lot more patient. And that led to us getting offensive rebounds. We wore them down a little bit.”
The patient approach of the Lady Cougars combined with solid defense resulted in a 42-19 victory and Munford advancing to the next round.
“I think we did a pretty job on the boards,” Poindexter added. “I think we did a pretty good job of limiting their stud, Molly Martin.”
Martin had a few highlights during the game including a block shot on Munford standout Gabby Crawford. To start the contest Martin drove to the rim and made a layup.
Then the Lady Cougars responded with a 11-4 run to close out the first quarter. Crawford answered Martin’s opening bucket with a jumper.
Then Crawford made a move to the rack for a layup. Then Shania “Maine Girl” Johnson was afforded an opening look from behind the perimeter. Johnson drained the triple and made the score 7-4.
Moments later Crawford went to work in the post making a shot. To conclude the scoring in the first period De’Asha Banks made a put-back bucket.
The Lady Cougars led 11-6 entering the second quarter. Munford finally reached a double-digit lead when Johnson hit another long range shot and Johnna Jones located Crawford for a layup making the tally 16-6.
Finishing up the second quarter, Crawford made another layup and Jones made a foul shot. Crawford closed out the quarter with another bucket in the paint and Munford was ahead 21-6.
Crawford’s final basket of the first half left her one point shy of the 1,000-point career mark.
Moments into the third quarter, the Lady Cougars received baskets from Banks and Johnson respectively. Then it was time for Crawford’s milestone when she used an up-and-under move to make the score 27-6.
The Lady Cougars added 8 more points in the third quarter to lead ECS 35-11 entering the fourth quarter.
In the final period, younger Munford players like Ally Gover, Cameron Bruce and Kennisha Mason led the second unit in closing out the opening round victory.
“I thought they did a good job,” Poindexter said. “Earlier in the year when we had a chance to get them in, it was like chickens with their heads cut off. I don’t want to say they’re more relaxed now, but they’re definitely more patient.
“They’re doing a better job of catching and squaring up,” he added. “I think maybe the game is slowing down to them a little bit. It just takes time and the more opportunities we get to put them in there the better off we’ll be. At the end of the year, hopefully we’ll have a few people we could bring off the bench.”
As the Lady Cougars advanced in the holiday tournament, Poindexter had a simple goal for his entire roster.
“We’ve just go to focus on playing all four quarters,” he concluded. “We have to focus on our intensity, playing hard and playing together. We haven’t done that consistently. We’ve done it some but not consistently. I think today was a step in that direction.”

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