Newberry girls basketball knocks off host Lafayette


Published: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 11:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 11:53 p.m.

MAYO — Three players scored in double figures as the Newberry girls basketball team stung the host school, Lafayette 45-22 in the nightcap of day two of the inaugural Andy Hart Memorial Invitational on Saturday.

Yasmine Douglas led with 12 points, while Dymeria Clayton, who played at Santa Fe last year, followed with 11 points and nine rebounds. Tayla McGee added 10 points for the Panthers, who reached the Class 1A state title game last season.

“It is hard keeping these girls focused, they’re up and down and they’ll play sometime to the talent level,” Panthers coach Ray Parrish said. “Our goal right now is to get back to the final four and I preach that every day to them.”

Newberry (4-2) used its full-court pressure to take a 21-10 lead after the first quarter of what was an up-and-down and sloppily played affair. The Panthers then outscored the Hornets (0-6) 8-2 in the third quarter to own a comfortable 37-18 advantage.

Lafayette, which has won 10 district titles in the last 12 years and reached the state semifinals three times in that span, is in a rebuilding phase.

“I know people are not feeling sorry for us,” Lafayette coach Jimmy Blankenship said. “We have some young and inexperienced players. The girls play hard, we are just making careless mistakes.”

In the third game of the day, Ponce de Leon, the defending Class 1A state champions, held off Oak Hall 42-31.

The Eagles (4-4) did not have one player score in double figures and saw the Pirates (8-0) take control early with a 15-0 run in the first quarter. Oak Hall trailed 24-11 at halftime and 35-22 after three quarters, but had its chances late. Madison O’Leary hit a pair of free throws to pull Oak Hall to within 39-31 with 1:47 left, but the Eagles got no closer.

Ponce de Leon was led by its 6-foot-1 center Hannah Howell’s 13 points and seven rebounds.

“I didn’t like giving up 17 points in the first quarter,” Eagles coach Eric Ringdahl said. “I am proud of the effort and I think we played as hard as we could play.”

The two-day event is named after the late Andy Hart, who was the public address announcer for Hornets football, basketball, softball, track, and other sporting events for nearly 30 years.

In the two early games of the day, Cottondale hammered Wildwood 58-21 and Jasper Hamilton County dumped Baker 60-47.

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