Photo by Derrick Mahone
Jonesboro players Kim Dawkins (No. 11), Victoria Sutton (No. 22) and Raven Wynn look to the sideline during a break in the action in the Lady Cardinals win over visiting Riverdale on Tuesday in a Region 4-AAAA, Div. B contest.
JONESBORO — The Jonesboro girls senior class wanted to show some solidarity during it Senior Night game against visiting Riverdale on Tuesday.
With seven seniors on the roster, two would have been left out the lineup if coach Lamar Harris had chosen all all-senior lineup. The seniors asked the first-year coach to start the underclassmen.
Riverdale jumped to a quick four-point lead before Harris inserted his seniors, and order was restored.
Jonesboro defeated Riverdale 51-39 in a Region 4-AAAA, Div. B game to close out its regular season on an 11-game winning streak as it compiled a 21-3 overall record. The Lady Cardinals are idle until next week’s region tournament at Woodland High.
“We’ve been on a roll lately,” Harris said. “We started our young guys tonight because they are the future. We wanted to give them an opportunity.
“Our seniors have been waiting on this day. They went out there with a lot of energy. I’m proud of the way the entire team played.”
In the end, it was the veterans that made the biggest difference, especially Kim Dawkins.
The Jacksonville signee blocked two shots and grabbed a couple rebounds to stop a late rally by Riverdale in the closing minute of the game.
“I thought that my team needed me late in the game,” Dawkins said. “I was determined not to let them score in the late part of the game.”
Dawkins finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds while teammate Raven Wynn added 12 points.
Jonesboro enjoyed a double-digit lead for most of the contest until Lady Raiders guard Angel Cooper made a steal and layup to cut the lead to 47-38 with 1:50 remaining. Riverdale could get no closer as Dawkins started to dominate the paint and the Lady Cardinals started to run the time off the clock.
“It was a great win because it was our last regular season home game,” senior guard Briana Benson said. “We are playing with a lot of confidence. We want to get them championship.”
Last season, the Lady Cardinals won the region title and advanced to the Class AAAA semifinals where it lost to Southwest DeKalb. Since a lost in a tournament in Florida during the Christmas break, Jonesboro has gone undefeated to take control of its subregion.
With a break before the region tournament starts, Harris said his team will spend the next few days tweaking some minor flaws to prepare for the tournament.
“We have some little things that we must correct,” Harris said. “There is nothing major. We are definitely looking forward to the tournament.”