Lady Cougars finish as top team in region
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’re number one.
The Lafayette Christian School Lady Cougars overwhelmed visiting Flint River Academy 59-30 on Thursday night to secure the number one seed for next week’s region tournament.
It was the final game of the regular season for the Lady Cougars, and head coach Rene Gomez encouraged the players to quickly turn the page.
Lafayette Christian will play Griffin Christian on Tuesday at Flint River Academy in the region tournament.
“Like I told them in the locker room, we got the best position, but we haven’t won anything yet,” Gomez said. “Now what we have to do is take care of business. We have to come out and be ready to play against Griffin Christian.”
Lafayette Christian had a close game with Flint River earlier this season, but there was no suspense in the rematch.
“When we went to their place, they were a lot more comfortable, and they were making a lot more outside shots,” Gomez said. “We were behind at halftime 27-24, and toward the end of the game, we got a couple of late buckets and were able to win by four.”
Flint River had some success with its pressure defense in the first meeting, and Lafayette Christian was prepared for that the second time around.
“At their place, they were able to press us a little better, so that’s all we did for two days of practice was to go over our press break and try to get someone on the middle, advance the ball with a pass, and then attack, attack, attack,” Gomez said. “If we attack, we’re going to have good chances.”
Three players accounted for all but five of Lafayette Christian’s points.
Carmen Bridges had a stellar all-around game with 20 points and 19 rebounds, and she continued to make an impact on the boards.
“She’s been averaging 18 rebounds for the whole year, so she’s just killing it,” Gomez said.
Juleigh Haynes, a guard who made life difficult for Flint River with her ability to get to the basket, added 19 points, and Hana Stevens contributed 15 points.
It was one of the most productive offensive games of the season for the Lady Cougars.
“Today, we were very fortunate on offense,” Gomez said. “We play great defense. We’ve scored into the 40s a couple of times all season. We usually hold teams to 30 or below. Our problem is offense. Obviously tonight it wasn’t. We aim for 40. If we can get into the 40s, we feel good about our chances. Our problem comes when we either hurry, or we force bad shots. Tonight, we were able to beat them in transition.”