• 64°

Thomas, Burke lead Lady Cats

April Thomas and Alexis Burke combined for 30 points Monday in Valdosta to lead the Bainbridge High School Lady Cats to a 51-47 regular-season, opening victory over the Coffee County High School Lady Trojans.

Thomas led the way with 16 points, and Burke put in 14. The victory came in the first round of the Lowndes County High School Invitational tournament.

The Lady Cats took on the homestanding Lowndes County High School Vikettes in the tournament’s final round on Tuesday. Complete details of that game will appear in Saturday’s edition.

Monday’s game with the Lady Trojans was tied with less than a minute to go, but a free throw by Burke and field goal by Thomas put the Lady Cats ahead to stay.

Lady Cats coach Latreisha Moon said she thought her team played good defense and shot the ball well, particularly in clutch situations.

“We started strong, jumping out to an 18-10 lead at the end of the first quarter,” she said. “We also played good defense, and stopped them late when we had to. When we missed some shots, we went aggressively inside to get the rebound. You can get a lot of second chances by being aggressive.”

Moon also liked her team’s balanced scoring effort against the Lady Trojans.

“Seven different players contributed to our scoring effort,” she said. “We hustled and played hard the whole way. It was a true team victory.”

Behind Thomas and Burke in the Lady Cats scoring column were Bria Harris with 8, Briana Wade with 6, Richana Jackson with 5 and Diamond Bouie and Takeia Crankfield with 2 apiece.

The Lady Cats will return to action Friday and Saturday when they travel to Tallahassee, Fla., and compete in the Rickards High School Lady Raiders Shootout. Opponents and game times are to be determined.

Their first regular-season home game will be Friday, Dec. 4. They will host the Thomasville High School Lady Bulldogs at 6 p.m. at the new Bainbridge High School gymnasium.

“Our goal is to get better every game,” Moon said. “We need to play at a high tempo. We can’t let up.”