Richardson, Mace lead Lady Spartans Over Jackson 57-46< < Back to
In the first half of the Alexander Lady Spartans’ road matchup with Jackson on Saturday, Alexander was outrebounded 17-to-6, committed 10 turnovers and gave up 17 free throw attempts. Somehow, despite all of that, they went into the halftime break leading 27-23.
The second half of the game is when the Lady Spartans really took off, and when the final buzzer rang, the scoreboard read 57-46 in favor of Alexander. The win marked their first of the season after falling to Warren in their season-opener.
The Lady Spartans (1-1) were playing aggressive, full-court man-to-man defense the entire game, and that led to some foul trouble early on. In the second quarter, both Allyson Malone and Leah Richardson, Alexander’s two primary ball handlers, went out of the game with three fouls apiece.
“They go out, it changes our offense completely,” said first-year head coach Cory McKnight. “This game we did a lot better, once those two went out, as far as moving the ball and shooting the ball very well. I was very proud of those three minutes and eight seconds without those two on the court.”
One player that stepped up in the absence of the Malone and Richardson was sophomore Jala Mace. Mace connected on three shots in the second quarter, and that helped keep Jackson at arm’s reach.
“Jala has the ability to do everything,” said McKnight. “Down the stretch, we don’t win the game without her.”
Once the second half rolled around, and Alexander was at full force again, the Lady Spartans took off. They had been pressuring the ball all game, but after halftime they seemed to step up the press even more.
Alexander started the half on a 9-0 run, and Jackson could never really crawl back into it. Richardson and Mace, along with the on-ball pressure of Malone and Nicole Hudnall, put the game out of reach. Richardson and Mace scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Malone and Hudnall combined for five steals and even more forced turnovers.
Leading the way for Jackson were Rebekah Green and Kacee Jenkins. Green ran the point guard position, and her 18 points helped keep the game close in the second half. Completing the one-two punch was Jenkins, who dominated the paint for 16 points and 14 rebounds, with 11 of those rebounds coming on the offensive end.
The Lady Spartans used their defensive energy to overcome their size disadvantage, something they will have to do all season. Alexander was able to overcome quite a few negatives, and still get the win. That shows the resilience of a team that gained a lot of experience playing together a season ago.
The Lady Spartans will be back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 9 when they travel to Wellston to take on the Lady Golden Rockets.