On Friday, the Luella Lions girls basketball team hosted the Stockbridge Tigers in their final regular season meeting as the Tigers looked to even the season series after losing to the Lions 66-62 back in early December. A game in which the Tigers lead the Lions at the end of three quarters of play, but a strong fourth quarter in which Luella outscored Stockbridge 23-12 for the win.
Friday night’s match-up would have a similar feel as the game remained close throughout the night, however Luella would be the ones leading through the first three quarters of play. However, after trailing by six heading into the final period of play, Stockbridge would open up the period outscoring Luella 9-2 to take their first lead of the night after a DesMyah Croom basket in which she would also draw a foul and make good on the free throw.
As the quarter continued, the Lions would regain the lead, but then soon after, the Tigers would go back on top 41-40, however the Lions would call on senior Ariana Dyson, who finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds, who would connect on a basket in the paint while drawing the foul. Dyson would complete the three point play to give Luella a 43-41 lead and the Lions would not relinquish it as they would go on to pick up the 49-42 win improving to 11-0 in region play and 15-6 overall.
“The first time we played them, everybody was so up and the intensity was crazy so just trying to keep everybody mellow and let them understand that we’re the veteran team. We’ve been here before,” Luella head coach, Latoya Brown said over her talks with her players throughout Friday’s game. “We just had to go out there and make stops,” Brown added as she praised Stockbridge for being “a good team but we handled business tonight”.
Business the Lions had to take care of without a couple “key players” including junior Milani Smith, however Brown credited a couple of players, including freshman guard, Angel Thomas, for stepping into roles to help the team in the win. “She did such a good job tonight,” Brown said of Thomas’ play in helping fill the void in the absence of Smith. “I’m just proud of my girls,” Brown added.