Lady Warriors roll Tift Co.
by Carlton D. White
February 28, 2013 01:13 AM | 2336 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TIFTON — North Cobb’s defense sparked its offense in the first quarter, and the Lady Warriors rode the momentum of that effort to a 55-30 victory over Tift County in a Class AAAAAA state quarterfinal game Wednesday.

Sixth-ranked North Cobb (27-3) advances to its first state semifinal since the 1966-67 season, where it will face top-ranked North Gwinnett at Georgia Tech on Saturday, at 7 p.m.

Amber Reeves scored 13 points and added four rebounds, five assists and four steals for North Cobb.

Kyrie’ Chandler had 16 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, while Sierra Barrino chipped in three points and 13 boards. Briah Woods finished with five points and seven boards.

“This is just a blessing,” Reeves said. “We’ve been through so much. We’ve been to the elite eight twice since I’ve been here and never been to the Final Four, and to do it with these girls, these coaches and these fans is an amazing feeling.”

The Lady Warriors collected six first quarter steals and four blocks to spark an 18-6 lead at the end of the period.

North Cobb held Tift County scoreless over the final 2:30 and completed the quarter on a 9-0 run.

However, North Cobb was held to five points in the second quarter.

The Lady Warriors made only one field goal in the period — a putback from Barrino — that gave the team a 22-10 lead with five minutes and 22 seconds left in the frame.

The Lady Warriors were nearly held scoreless for the final 5 minutes of the first half, but Reeves sank 1 of 2 free throws with .6 seconds on the clock, giving North Cobb a 23-15 halftime lead.

The Lady Warriors found their shooting touch in the third quarter.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Chandler and Reeves turned a seven point advantage into a 30-17 margin with 5:05 left in the third period and the rout was on.

Chantel Strahorn’s trey with 2:45 on the clock lifted the Lady Warriors to a 36-23 advantage.

“Our defense was the key (Wednesday),” Reeves said. “Our defense will always be the key. As long as we follow what our coaches say to us, we’ll be fine.”

North Cobb scored the final two points of the third period and the first 11 of the fourth for a 49-25 lead with 6:02 left to play.

Consecutive steals from Reeves and Barrino sparked the run and led to easy transition baskets.

Chandler nailed her second 3-pointer with 6:20 remaining in the game and Barrino’s rebound led to a fastbreak jumper for Aniya Corley, giving North Cobb the 49-25 margin.

Alexis Luster totaled four points, three rebounds and three blocked shots for North Cobb, which outscored Tift County 17-5 in the fourth quarter.

“Defense is what we’ve prided ourselves on all year,” North Cobb coach Matt Williams said. “(Tift County) got on the offensive boards a little bit, but for the most part we did a great job (Wednesday). I’m really proud of them.

“At halftime, we talked about attacking the basket and we did a better job of that and getting open shots on offense. We don’t want to stop this run. This feels great.”

North Cobb made six 3-pointers in the game and went 17 of 29 from the free throw line. Tift County (23-7) was 6-for-9 from the charity stripe and made two treys.

Dejai Jordan had four points and 10 rebounds for Tift County.

Alexis Johnson finished with eight points and seven boards.
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February 28, 2013
Keep it rolling Coach Williams, and go Warriors!
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