HOLLANDALE — Taylor Lucas-Howard, the Planters Bank Player of the Week, came out with a huge chip on her shoulder Friday night in the championship game of the Region 6-1A district basketball tournament.
Lucas-Howard has been lighting the scoreboard up all season, and on Friday night she did it again in her team’s 73-50 victory over McEvans (Shaw). She finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and five steals.
“Taylor was playing with something to prove,” said Simmons Coach Bernita Alexander. “The coaches did not give her a single vote for player of the year in this district. I don’t know what they were thinking or why they did that, but it gave her extra motivation tonight.”
The Devilettes (16-3) now march on to the first round of the 1A state basketball tournament where Simmons will host Mount Olive on Thursday. The Devilettes’ game against Mount Olive was originally scheduled for Monday but has been moved back because of the winter storm.
McEvans had defeated Simmons twice before Frday’s nights district championship game, and McEvans had given the Devilettes their last loss on Jan. 24.
“I always felt like we had better talent than them, but it seemed like something was always getting in the girls’ head,” Coach Alexander said. “Tonight we came out and executed and controlled the game.”
Lucas-Howard was not the only Simmons player to shine Friday night. Carl’Kaisha Lucas finished with 13 points. Nariah Robinson scored 11 points, and Taliyah Robinson scored eight points.
From the opening tip, it was clear the Devilettes would get their revenge over the Warriors from Shaw. Led by the Lucas-Howard, the Simmons players would drop baskets after a number of layups, spin moves and baseline.
Then, Robinson would put a punctuation mark on the festivities, by dropping a long 3-ball just as time expired at the end of the first half, given the Devilettes the seemingly insurmountable 36-16 lead.
McEvans would never mount much of a challenge in the second half, and the rest of the evening became a countdown for the Simmons celebration.
“These girls just keep getting better, and we are looking forward to our next game,” Coach Alexander said.