Photo by Derrick Mahone
Locust Grove freshman guard Keneesa Ragland (22) attempts to inbounds the ball in the first half as Drew’s Precious Person defends. Drew won the game 74-26 to sweep the two-game series this season.
Drew went into halftime easily in control of its Region 4-AAA game against Locust Grove with a 16-point lead.
However, Lady Titans coach Candence Jackson wasn’t satisfied.
She offered an ultimatum to the team during the intermission: Get it together, or bring your running shoes to the next practice.
After a dominating third quarter, the Lady Titans avoided the extra running as they cruised to a 74-26 win over the visitors Tuesday evening.
“We got in trouble with coach at halftime,” said senior guard Precious Person. “She said if we didn’t pick up the intensity that we would be running in practice.”
Person, a 6-foot-2 Rutgers signee, was moved to the top of the Lady Titans’ press in the third quarter, which created problems for Locust Grove. Drew, the defending region champions, outscored Locust Grove 29-5 in the period by forcing several turnovers.
“That adjustment to our press really helped out,” Jackson said. “Everyone sort of fed off of Precious’ energy. Overall, I’m pleased with our effort.”
Person had a game-high 24 points, including 12 in the third quarter. Drew also got 16 points from Kiera Henderson and Danielle Sims contributed 10 points as the Lady Titans improved to 17-4 on the season.
Locust Grove was led by Sibahya Broderick, who finished with 10 points. The Lady Wildcats could only manage eight points in the last two quarters as Drew pulled its starters after the third quarter.
It was the second time this season that Drew defeated Locust Grove by a double-digit margin.
Jackson said her team seems a lot more focused after last week’s region loss to Sandy Creek by 11 points. In a previous meeting between the two schools, Drew won by 13.
“That loss really hurt,” Person said. “That loss still bothers me. I think we want to turn it up from here on out. We don’t want to lose another game.”
If they play like they did in the third quarter in the Locust Grove game, it might be possible.
“This team is learning to trust in each other, the coaches and the system,” Jackson said. “Last year, we made a statement as a first-year school going to state. We know teams will be after us. We have to play at a high level each game.”
Locust Grove didn’t reach double figures until the 4:14 mark of the second quarter as Drew led 26-10 at that point. The Lady Titans scored in double figures all four quarters, while Locust Grove’s best quarter was the second when it amassed 12 points.