WENDELL — South Johnston still isn’t playing the kind of basketball it wants to or knows its needs to in order to end their run of 18 years without adding a girls basketball conference championship trophy to their collection. But the Trojans are finding ways to win.
South did it again Friday night, topping Corinth Holders 49-43 on the road to stay unbeaten (2-0) on the still young Two Rivers 3A Conference season.
“We found a way to win,” said Trojans coach Ronda Langdon Johnson. “We had too many turnovers (20), we didn’t shoot free throws well (43 percent). I didn’t like our defense at times.
“Maybe it was the odd day, getting out early.”
The Trojans saw their school day end early Friday (at 9:30 a.m.) after a transformer problem knocked out power to the school.
Even with all that, South jumped out to an early, comfortable lead. The Trojans led 13-9 after the opening quarter and led 30-19 late in the second quarter.
The Pirates (0-2 Two Rivers 3A) started to find their offensive touch in the third quarter, pulling within 36-35 on a Sarama Gibson basket (on a pass from Khadijah Neal) with 4:05 to play in the third quarter.
South point guard McKinley Johnson answered – displaying some of that always finding an answer at just the right time style the Trojans played with throughout the second half – with a driving layup to push the lead back to three points.
Corinth Holders fell behind by seven with 2:18 to play after a three-point play by Emma Blackmon of South. The play backed up a four-point scoring run by teammate Anna Webster that pulled the Trojans back ahead after Maddy Gladwell had gotten the Pirates within 3 on a driving cut to the basket.
Collins had 15 for South, while Webster added 14 and Alexis Massengill and Johnson picked up seven points each.
“We’ve just got to get some more scoring from some people,” Langdon Johnson said. “We are getting some help from our bench. Brittany (Lawrence) came in and really did a good job on the boards for us.”
Gladwell had 13 to lead Corinth Holders, which was effective at times with its high-low passing and cuts to the basket against the Trojans.
“We’re picking up too many fouls and I always say that’s just lazy defense,” Langdon Johnson said. “When the other team is getting drives to the basket and we’re picking up reach in fouls, its because we haven’t moved our feet like we should on defense. That’s got to get better.”
Cyarra Pierson of Corinth Holders had nine points before fouling out, while Neal added seven.
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