Lady Cats advance with 62-53 win

Published 4:45 pm Monday, February 27, 2012

The Bainbridge High School Lady Cats advanced to the second round of the State Class AAAA Basketball Tournament, with a 62-53 first-round victory over the Richmond Hill High School Lady Wildcats on Friday in Richmond Hill, Ga.

The victory advanced the Region 1-AAAA Lady Cats to the tournament’s second round against the Region 4-AAAA Forest Park High School Lady Panthers, who edged the McIntosh High School Lady Chiefs 35-34 in their first round game Friday night. The Lady Cats and Lady Panthers met Tuesday in Forest Park, Ga.; information on that game result is available on Page 1A of this newspaper.

Bainbridge featured a balanced scoring attack with three players in double figures Friday against the Lady Wildcats.

Briana Wade led the way with 21 points. Alex Carter added 10 and Ri’Chana Jackson put in 13.

Rounding out the Lady Cats’ scoring column Friday were Takeia Crankfield with six, Diamond Bouie with four and Jasmin Kelly with two. The Lady Wildcats were led by Aliyah Johnson with 18. She was followed by Kelana Jackson with 16.

The Lady Cats trailed 8-7 at the end of the first quarter, but Bainbridge edged Richmond Hill 7-6 in the second quarter to tie it up 14-14 at halftime.

The Lady Cats outscored their hosts 27-22 in the third quarter and entered the fourth quarter with a 41-36 lead. A 21-17 Bearcats fourth quarter scoring advantage sealed the victory.

“We really did a lot of things well against Richmond Hill,” Bainbridge coach Kelvin Cochran said. “We handled the ball well, shot well, rebounded well and played hard all four quarters. It was a true team victory.”

Cochran said Forest Park, his team’s second round opponent Tuesday night, is also very talented.

“Forest Park’s senior point guard, Ashley Cole, daughter of their head coach Steven Cole, is a strong player who directs their offense well,” he said.