By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Munford Lady Cougars made it clear Friday night they wanted first place in District 13-3A.
Steve Poindexter’s group led 53-24 after three quarters of action in the Munford Gymnasium over the Dyer County Lady Choctaws.
Those points and the lessons from the defeat to Dyer County came in handy in the fourth quarter when junior standout Gabby Crawford fouled out. Prior to Crawford’s departure, senior forward DeAsha Banks headed to the bench disqualified by fouls.
Dyer County outscored Munford 30-18 in the final period, but the Lady Cougars were victorious 71-54 jumping back into first place in the league.
“We learned a lot from the first game,” Poindexter noted. “In the first game defensively, you can ask them, we let them do whatever they wanted to do. We were not in a stance, no help side.
“The first three quarters on both ends of the floor, really good,” he added. “I really can’t complain about much in the first three quarters. They had energy on defense. They talked. They worked hard on defense.”
Munford grabbed an 11-8 advantage as both teams were trying to get a rhythm in the first quarter. The Lady Cougars created some separation in the second quarter outscoring the Lady Choctaws 23-5. Dyer County was held to one field goal in the period.
Meanwhile Lady Cougars like Crawford, Shania Johnson, Ally Gover, Kennisha Mason and Johnna Jones contributed to the 34-13 halftime advantage.
After a Crawford layup made the score 14-10, Munford got rolling with a Jones laser pass to Johnson for a layup.
Another Johnson layup made the score 18-10. Then Jones got into the scoring act with a bucket. Mason drained a triple to make the tally 23-10.
Jones had 5 points making a steal leading to a layup. Moments later she hit a three-pointer making the tally 28-10.
After a Gover foul shot, the Lady Cougars were ahead 29-10. Jones had the final 5 points of the quarter for the Lady Cougars with a layup and another triple.
‘We were working the ball and getting good shots,” Poindexter noted.
The good offensive sets continued in the third quarter with Banks scoring 10 points in the period. The senior scored on drives to the basket or good looks from her teammates.
The Munford lead grew to 58-28 with 4 minutes and 58 seconds left in the game. It was a huge contrast from the first match up at Dyer County.
The Lady Choctaws were able to outlast Munford in overtime taking advantage of three Lady Cougar starters fouling out.
In the rematch, the Lady Cougars witnessed Crawford, Banks and Johnson foul out. When Crawford headed to the bench at the 4:58 mark, the Lady Choctaws tried to rally.
But the younger Lady Cougars were able to hit timely shots.
“That experience from first game helped us to make enough plays tonight to win this game,” Poindexter said.
Munford held on to win by 17 points and regain first place in the district.
“We’re going to take the last quarter and say we have to learn from that,” Poindexter said. “When we have a lead like that we have to be mature enough and smart enough to know offensively. It hard to keep rolling like that when you get such a big lead.
“But when you’re up like that and you know your bench situation, it’s not fun but you had to make 10 or 12 passes to get that layup,” he concluded. “ You’ve got to be discipline enough to do that. If you weren’t up by 30 when all of this stuff started going on, you might not have won this game.”
Now all the teams will prepare for the District 13-3A Tournament in Munford starting Feb. 16.