Thursday, December 27, 2012

Host Collierville Dragons romp at tourney

Bobby Yates wasn't sure what felt better. His Collierville team's 60-39 first-round blowout over Byhalia in the Dragon Fire Invitational Wednesday. Or the fact that only one team, Jonesboro, wasn't able to make it because of the Christmas-capping winter storm that hit the area.

"Looking at all that blue (on the weather map) last night, I thought we'd have a lot of no-shows," Yates said. "But Jonesboro was the only area where they got serious snow, and got a good dose of freezing rain underneath. Jodi (Davis, Jonesboro's coach) said she wanted to try and get down here, but she couldn't even get out of the driveway (and the Hurricanes had to forfeit their game with Houston)."

The Dragons (7-5) showed some rust from a week off around Christmas. But they also showed the twin-tower look. Jessica Brown, Collierville's 6-2 junior anchor, missed her first three shots, then scored 10 first-quarter points as the Dragons took a 19-4 lead. The rest of the game, she played largely on the wing while Yates gave serious minutes to 6-2 senior Brooke Partlow.

"We've tried that look in bits and pieces, and Brooke is coming on, so tonight we were able to try some things," Yates said.

Brown finished the night with 25 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Point guard Lindsey Allen added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Partlow had seven points and seven boards.

"We're still working on ballhandling, and getting (the entry pass into the lane)," Brown said. "Once it's there we can do some things."

The Indians (4-10), a Cinderella runner-up here two years ago, is rebuilding with a one-senior lineup under former Hillcrest coach Reginald Jones. Junior Shandricka Sessom warmed up for 23 points, including four 3-pointers, and sophomore Kimberly Reed added 13 points with three treys. Going inside was just a sometime idea.

"We need to hustle four quarters a game, and trust our offense and work it inside when the outside shots aren't hitting," Jones said. "It's something they're still resisting."

Obion County made it through the snow and racked up a 61-42 first-round win over Millington. The Rebels (13-3), state Class AA runner-up a year ago, got 18 points apiece from seniors Ali McEwen and Brandi Goodman.

Goodman, a 6-2 University of Memphis signee, was coming off a 44-point effort last week against East.

"Seeing the size of the Class AAA teams from Memphis is just what Brandi needs," Obion coach Lyle LaRue said. "I was a little bit worried at 6, but the roads in our area cleared up by noon."
Senior Erin Clark had 18 points and Tiara Caldwell nine points and 16 rebounds for the Trojans (2-10).

Other first-day winners included defending champion Southwind, Marion (Collierville's second-round opponent), Whitehaven, the FCA Nighthawks and Columbia Central, which had no trouble with Manassas, last year's runner-up.

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