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Another championship for Long Cane

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

It was anybody’s game.

At the half of Friday’s championship game between Long Cane and Callaway Middle School, a scant six points separated the two teams.

There was no suspense in the second half, though.

Long Cane, playing on its home floor, dominated the final two quarters to beat Callaway 50-22 to win an extraordinary sixth consecutive league championship.

The team was under the direction of head coach Hasina Muhammad, who was elevated to the top position after serving as an assistant last year.

Muhammad began working with this team during the summer, and she said the players made tremendous strides between then and now.

“Just to watch how they’ve improved over the summer has been great,” she said. “It was unbelievable the improvement they made.’

Muhammad said the team members are not only exceptional basketball players, but outstanding all-around people.

“They’ve gotten better mentally, and physically, and in the class room,” she said. “Most of them made all As. They’re very mature girls.”

Callaway, which beat Gardner Newman on Thursday to advance to the championship game, had a 13-12 lead after the first quarter.

It remained tight in the second quarter, although Long Cane scored the final five points to take a 21-15 lead at the break.

In the second half, it was all Long Cane.

Muhammad said the objective in the second half was to “finish layups, and make free throws, and come out and keep the defensive intensity up. That’s where it comes from, our defense.”

Alexcia Murphy led Long Cane with 14 points, and she had eight points in the first quarter.

Aniya Palmer added 12 points for Long Cane, and she led the third-quarter charge with 12 points.

Angelissa Dowdell and Moniya Murphy had nine points apiece, with Dowdell scoring six of her points in the third quarter.

Jasmine Thornton led Callaway with nine points, and Lacey Thomas scored six points.

LONG CANE: Ramsey Clark, Keleigh Mann, Nyla Weldon, Alexcia Murphy, Angelissa Dowdell, Na’Asia Fitzpatrick, Jamarriana Martin, Makia Langston, Aniya Palmer, Tanieya Hegar, Maciaha Jeter, Samarria Weldon, Monyia Murphy, Jada Shealy and Star Bulgar