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Lovejoy holds on for win over Morrow

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Lovejoy’s Navilla Paul (left) and Carman Woodard wait at midcourt for a teammate’s free throw attempts in the second quarter of the Lady Wildcats’ 50-45 win over Morrow Friday.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Lovejoy’s Navilla Paul (left) and Carman Woodard wait at midcourt for a teammate’s free throw attempts in the second quarter of the Lady Wildcats’ 50-45 win over Morrow Friday.

Lovejoy looked as if it was still having a hangover from its loss to North Clayton earlier this week when the Lady Wildcats got behind in their game against Morrow.

Lovejoy turned up its defensive pressure to take control of the game, only to let the Lady Mustangs back in it.

Luckily, Lovejoy survived the late rally for a 50-45 win on Friday in a Region 4-AAAA contest.

Lovejoy got 15 points from Alease Allen and Navilla Paul added 12 in the win to improve the team to 7-6 overall and 5-5 in the region. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Wildcats.

Morrow (7-8, 5-4) was led by Markiesha Campbell, who had 15 points.

The Lady Mustangs led 14-8 after the first quarter, but Lovejoy came storming back. Lovejoy went on a 14-0 run to take control of the game going into the half.

A jumper by Deja Jackson ended a nearly five-minute drought for Morrow with 1:32 remaining in the opening half. The Lady Mustangs would get another basket, but Lovejoy took a 34-18 lead into the intermission.

“We really turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter,” Lovejoy coach Leon Dillard said. “In the third quarter, Morrow did a better job of handling the pressure.”

And that allowed the Mustangs to get back into the game.

A jumper by Rhein Beamon with 1:30 remaining cut to the lead to 46-44 in favor of Lovejoy. But that would be the closest Morrow would get as the team would make four free throws and pressure the Lady Mustangs into turnovers.

“As a team, we are shooting about 70 percent, and that’s pretty good,” Dillard said. “We also were praying that they went in. We definitely needed this win.”

The team will have little time to celebrate as they face Forest Park on Saturday before a rematch with Morrow on the road Tuesday.

“I don’t anticipate either team changing much,” Dillard said about Tuesday’s matchup. “They pretty much know what we are going to do, and we have an idea of what they will do.”