By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
BRYAN STATION — The Whitley County Lady Colonels’ final tune-up before today’s showdown with 13th Region foe Clay County went as planned.
The Lady Colonels improved to 4-0 on the season by handing Lafayette a 66-55 loss during Saturday’s Lady Defender Classic.
Larry Anderson’s squad led by as much as 20 points before pulling off the 11-point win while getting off to a 4-0 start for the second time in as many years.
“It was a good win for us,” Anderson said. “They had good size and we were able to shoot the ball really well. We didn’t put much emphasis on winning or losing because we just need to continue to learn from these games and get better.”
Maria Johnson continued her impressive play by hitting seven three-pointers during the win while leading the Lady Colonels with a 25-point effort. Brandi Smith also scored in double figures and finished with 20 points.
“Maria is really shooting the ball really well right now,” Anderson said. “I was really pleased with the way we played and the final outcome.”
The Lady Colonels led 19-15 after the first quarter , but Lafayette fought back and tied the game at 30 apiece at the end of the third quarter.
But that’s when the game had a sudden shift, as Whitley County outscored the lady Generals 24-3 in the third quarter and never looked back.
Now the Lady Colonels will shift their focus to today’s matchup against the four-time defending 13th Region champion Clay County Lady Tigers.
The Lady Tigers are 106-2 against 13th Region competition dating back to the 2005-06 season and have strung together 61 straight wins against 13th Region opponents.
“They are going to pound it inside and it’s totally different from what we saw against Lafayette,” Anderson said. “We get a chance to go to their place and play a quality opponent that has really good coaching. I know it’s a big game with two of the top teams in the region, but we’re looking to go there and build off it.”
Lady Defender Classic
Whitley County 19 11 24 12 66
Lafayette 15 15 3 22 55
Whitley County (66) — Powers 6, Smith 20, Craig 6, Johnson 25, Dingess 6, Jones 3.
Lafayette (55) — Cooley 15, Givens 8, S. Demus 7, Nagahiro 4, K. Demus 3, Thomas 14, Pankins 4.