Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Laney Defeats Toombs County... State Playoffs Are HERE!!

Laney Thrashes Toombs County 77-16

The Laney Wildcats defeated Toombs County last night in the first round of the GHSA Class AA playoffs by a score of 77-16! This was an absolute statement game for the Lady Wildcats after completing an undefeated season, and winning a hard fought region championship! Laney took their momentum from the season and just continued with it and steam rolled Toombs County.

Having the opportunity to watch a number of Laney games, I have come accustomed to seeing
#55 Khadijah Cave win the tip and the Wildcats go down the floor to take an early lead. That didn't happen last night which had me skeptical about what the outcome of this game would be.

After a few missed shots by each team Laney erupted! The wildcats went on a 21-2 run and dominated every aspect of the game. Khadijah Cave and Simone Smith commanded all of the rebounds and controlled the paint. The Laney coaching staff saw how they could exploit Toombs County in their lack of size to the Wildcats advantage. That's exactly what happened. In the first half Khadijah Cave had 16 points followed by her teammates Simone Smith and Destiny Brewton who each contributed 8 points. At the half, Laney was up on top 50-5. To put this in perspective, between Cave, Brewton, and Smith who added thirty-two of the fifty points; they averaged over six times what Toombs County scored (five points) just in the first half!

Toombs County came out with a little fire starting the second half on a 5-0 run. That quickly ended as Laney continued to play most of its starters and regained control of the game. Without hesitation the coaching staff for Laney used their lead as an opportunity to let younger players play in the system with the starters to gain experience. This was a great move by Laney allowing this to happen. They saw a chance to improve their bench players and acted on it.

The road to state is a long and physical road, and without knowing what comes around the corner with each game it's best to have as much experience and skill as you can on the floor and the bench. At the end of the 3rd quarter, Laney was easily ahead by a score of 66-12. As the game was coming to an end you could see the excitement in the gym building from the Lady Wildcat supporters. One fan turned to me and said, "This is our year, we are going to win state!"

The final buzzer rang and the Laney faithful and team celebrated its victory over Toombs County by a score of 77-16! Khadijah Cave ended the night with a whopping 25 points, followed by Aliyah Collier who added 11 points of her own.

No matter who they may face on their road to the state championship, they're my pick to win it all. Rebounds, ball movement, and communication are what set this team apart from others. Cave and Smith dominate the paint, while Aliyah Collier can work the point for open shots. Laney is a force to be reckoned with! They have stayed undefeated and made their mark.

It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters!
- Paul "Bear" Bryant
Tip Frank

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