By Phil Albert
Special to The Daily
Lovejoy girls basketball coach Eric Habelt could only shrug his shoulders. What can he do when his team is not scoring?
East Coweta used 12-0 and 15-0 scoring streaks to overwhelm the host Lady Wildcats 55-45 Friday night in Region 4-AAAAA basketball action.
Despite comeback efforts led by Bria Joyner-Williams, Yamaya Crawford and Alease Allen, the Lady Wildcats could not fully overcome the Lady Indian attack.
Down 10-7 in the first quarter, Lovejoy would be outscored 12-0 to fall behind 22-7 in the second quarter. But the Lady Wildcats outscored East Coweta 15-1 to close to 23-22 at halftime. Eventually, Lovejoy would grab a 40-38 lead entering the final quarter.
East Coweta then scored 15 straight points to take a 53-40 lead before Mariah Lutt scored two free throws with 2:01 remaining in the game.
"It takes patience, and that's what we've been stressing," Habelt said of his young team. There are no seniors and only two juniors on the Lady Wildcat team. The juniors will be graduating after this season, as they are participating in accelerating learning program.
"We play great defense, and the girls are working hard. But we go through long stretches where we don't score. It's tough to come back."
As a result, Lovejoy is 1-5 on the young season, 0-1 against region opposition.
Williams led Lovejoy with 13 points, eight in the second quarter. She also had eight rebounds. Lutt added 11 points, Nevilla Paul added nine before being injured late in the fourth quarter. Crawford contributed eight points.
Allen did not score in the game, but the freshman ignited the team's comeback effort in the second quarter with three blocked shots and three key rebounds off the bench.
Lovejoy hit just 14-of-60 shots from the floor and 15-of-18 from the foul line.
The Lady Wildcats hit just six field goals in the first half. They went nearly four minutes in the second quarter without scoring a point before hitting eight straight free throws. They also went six minutes without scoring in the fourth quarter, missing their first 11 shots from the floor.
Both teams combined for 66 turnovers, 31 by Lovejoy.
EAST COWETA 75 LOVEJOY 65: The visiting Indians used a strong outside shooting display to build a commanding 16-point halftime lead.
Behind three 3-pointers and a three-point play, East Coweta built an 18-5 lead and took a 21-14 lead into the second quarter. The Indians built an 18-point lead, 45-27, late in the second quarter.
Lovejoy (3-3, 0-1) was led by Morris Mitchell's 19 points, but only two in the second half. Lou Joseph had 13 points and 12 rebounds to aid Mitchell with a strong inside attack for the Wildcats. Cameron Solomon chipped in 12 points.
Lovejoy hit just 11-of-30 shots and 7-of-13 from the charity stripe in the first half.