The Columbus High School girls basketball team was overwhelmed from the jump Saturday night at the Joe Horne Christmas Invitational at Columbus High.
Wenonah (Ala.) began the game on a 15-2 run and never looked back in a 78-53 victory.
“We knew coming in that they were going to press us, but we just turned the ball over,” Columbus coach Yvonne Hairston said. “When you turn the ball over 24 times there is no way you can expect to win a ballgame, and we did that.”
The Lady Dragons doubled up the Lady Falcons 26-13 in the opening quarter led by 10 points from Shauntece Catlin. Catlin finished with 30 points to lead Wenonah.
Kaitlyn Rogers added 20 points for the Lady Dragons, while Jameka Jones added 16 points.
“It just wasn’t a good matchup,” Hairston said. “We had never seen them, but we got a good scouting report on them and everything that people said about them was true. Their bigs inside were tall, lanky, and aggressive. Our post players were just not as aggressive or agile as they were and gave up a lot of points inside.”
Wenonah led 44-28 at halftime and outscored Columbus 34-25 in the second half. The Lady Dragons’ full-court press also took its toll on Columbus standout senior KiKi Patterson. After scoring 10 points in the first half, Patterson scored only two points in the second and finished with just three field goals.
“She just didn’t have a good ballgame,” Hairston said. “She just could not get into rhythm. When she’s not shooting the ball well we will struggle, and we did exactly that.”
Patterson led the Lady Falcons with 12 points, followed by Daisha Williams and Brinna Hughes with nine points each.
“We like to play an up-tempo ballgame and it didn’t work in our favor that we played last night and they didn’t,” Hairston said. “They had a little bit more fresh legs, but anytime you turn the ball over 24 times and shoot 30-something percent from the field there is no way you’re going to win the ballgame. We just couldn’t get the ball to go in the basket.”
Boys: Tuscaloosa Central (Ala.) 65, Columbus 59
Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Columbus lost to Tuscaloosa Central on Saturday night.
The homestanding Falcons led 38-33 at halftime, but Tuscaloosa Central used a 15-6 run in the third quarter to take a 48-44 lead.
It was a one-possession game with less than a minute remaining, but Tuscaloosa Central held on.
Tuscaloosa Central’s Jarvis Riley led all scorers with 25 points. Terrance Rice added 16 points and Vincent Davis had 12.
Devin Berry paced Columbus with 18 points, while Brandon Porter added 14 points. C.J. Scott and Joshua Turner each had nine points.