Lady Cubs blow past rival Riverside

The Leland High School girls basketball team came into Friday nights game against Riverside High School looking to make a statement, and they did just that.

In a game that was a match-up of two of the best teams in the Delta, the Lady Cubs remained undefeated with a dominating 64-31 victory.

Senior Shomaria Overton led Leland with 21 points, while junior Imani Campbell scored 17 points.

“We heard all the talk before the game, and we knew they were dreamers,” Leland coach Patansy Miller-Hampton said. “We wanted to be dream crushers.”

Leland’s district victory, which improved the Lady Cubs to a perfect 16-0, was decided in the third quarter. The Lady Cubs went into halftime with an 8-point lead but continued to increase their lead after, seemingly, every possession. While Leland continued its full-court defense the entire fourth quarter, the game was decided long before the final buzzer blew.

It was Overton who helped the Lady Cubs pull the game away. No matter who was guarding her, Overton would find a way to dribble past her defender and make a basket. Many times she was fouled in the process and converted the ensuing free throw for a 3-point play.

“I thought we did a good job of stepping up, and everybody played their roles,” Overton said. “We heard all of the talk and the noise before the game, and we wanted to put an end to it.”

Camariyah Butler finished the game with eight points for Leland, and Corianna Wheatley scored seven points.

The Lady Cubs have made it to the state semifinals the last two seasons, but this year all the players and coaches believe they have what it takes to win a state championship.

“We have to stay focused and continue to reach higher,” Wheatley said. “We can do it, but we have to stay focused.”

For Riverside (9-2), which was led by the 10 points, three steals and two assists of senior Amiyah Staples, it was back to the drawing board. Shakera Stewart scored nine points for Riverside, and Quintaria McCray led the Lady Bulldogs with seven rebounds.

“They are a good team, but we are a good team too,” Riverside coach Denise Tyler said. “We just did not play a very good game.”