Lady Rams lose big to P.K. Yonge


Eastside High School's Jurnee Pettigrew tries to hold on to the ball during the game against the P.K. Yonge Lady Blue Wave in Gainesville.

LEE FERINDEN/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.

The Eastside Lady Rams basketball team drowned under the pressure applied by the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School Blue Wave girls basketball team Monday night in a game at P.K Yonge.

Facts

GIRLS GAME

What: Eastside High School vs. Gainesville High School.
When: 7 p.m. Thursday.
Where: Eastside, 1201 SE 45th Terrace.
Tickets: $5 for adults, $3 for students.
Miscellaneous: Senior Night for Lady Rams will be Jan. 25, when the team faces Santa Fe High School.
Information: Call 352-955-6704.

Led by 6-foot-2 senior center Brooksie McGraw, a University of Alabama signee, the Lady Blue Wave used full-court pressure defense to keep the Lady Rams from establishing any kind of offensive rhythm during their 69-35 route of the Lady Rams. McGraw covered the baseline on all inbound passes by the Lady Rams, using her long arms to prevent easy passes, and the rest of a pesky Lady Blue Wave defense did their part in clogging passing lanes and pressuring Eastside ball handlers.

McGraw led the Lady Blue Wave with 21 points and 11 rebounds and senior Tiara Lundy led the Lady Rams with 14 points.

The Lady Rams will try to get back on the winning track when they host Gainesville High School at 7 p.m. Thursday at the school at 1201 SE 45th Terrace. Senior Night is at 7 p.m. Jan. 25 at Eastside against Santa Fe High School.

Lance Radford, the first-year coach of the Lady Rams, said his team has made a lot of progress since the beginning of the season and it is on track to make it to the state playoffs.

He said the Lady Rams' two losses in district play have been to Palatka — 39-36 on Dec. 11 at Eastside and 68-56 on Jan. 10 at Palatka. The Lady Rams finished district play Tuesday night against Belleview. The district tournament will be held at Belleview Jan. 29 and Feb. 1. The winner and runner-up of the district tournament will advance to the state playoffs.

Radford said there are some things his team need to do in order to make a deep run in the playoffs.

“Some of the things we have to work on that we have kind of been lazy about is blocking out on rebounds and our unforced turnovers,” Radford said. “It's the things that we can control that we have to get better at and that's part of my job as the coach. I have to get us better.”

Eastside, 9-8 overall and 3-2 in District 6-5A, scored first off a put back by sophomore center Shadayzha Bullock before P.K. scored 11 straight points to take an 11-2 lead in the first quarter. The 11-0 run by the Lady Blue Wave included a free throw by Courtney Dollison, who played for the Lady Rams as a freshman, a three-pointer by Kaliya Jackson, a short jump hook shot by McGraw, a three-pointer by Kiara Mallory and a lay up by McGraw after a steal.

The first quarter ended with the Lady Blue Wave ahead by a score of 24-5. They went on to go into halftime with a 34-13 lead. Eastside increased its scoring in the second half, but never threatened to get back in the game. Although the Lady Rams struggled to score points and keep P.K. Yonge from scoring, they never quit, and played with a lot of hustle until the end of the game.

Willie Powers, coach of the Lady Blue Wave, said he is pleased with the way his team played against Eastside. He is looking forward to making another deep run in the state playoffs. At the end of the game Monday night, the Lady Blue Wave were 13-6 overall and 5-0 in District 3-3A.

“We are about where we want them to be, trying to peak at the end of the season,” said Powers, who coached the Lady Blue Wave last year to the Class 3A state championship.

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