LELAND- Demonstrating offensive versatility and depth all evening, the Leland Lady Cubs won the Region 3 2A North first round playoff game 65-35 over the Union Yellowjackets Monday. The host Lady Cubs (29-1) used brute force down low and blinding speed in the open court to claim the title.
“We’re an inside out team for the most part but we know that other teams have been scouting us that way,” said Lady Cubs Head Coach Patansy Miller-Hampton. “Our speed and intensity on defense helps us quite a bit when our opponents try to take away the inside game.”
Leland’s speedy guards took control of the game in the second quarter. The Cubs outscored the Yellowjackets 24-8 in a decisive second stanza. After Camaria Butler converted a three pointer from the wing, her backcourt mate put on a impressive show of swiftness over the Yellowjackets next few possessions. If it were the a court of law, senior guard Shamaria Overton would have been charged with grand theft and fleeing the scene of the crime as she stole three passes and converted fast break layups on the other end. Teammate Breneshia Brown also got into the act in the second quarter by scoring eight points. Leland led 37-16 at the half.
Leland’s game plan was clear at the outset- work the ball around the perimeter until soft spots opened in the interior. Once the openings availed themselves, Cubs senior center Corianna Wheatley went to work early scoring seven Leland’s first quarter points.The Yellowjackets broke the Leland press with relative ease but had trouble making shots in the first quarter. The visitors made two of 13 shots in the quarter including unsuccessful attempts on their first 10. Leland led 13-5 after one quarter.
Union’s offense showed some signs of life in the opening moments of the second quarter as they opened the period on a five 5-0 run. Ansley Rigby for Union led the short scoring outburst. But the Lady Cubs answered right back with a 6-0 run of there own highlighted by a one on five fast break layup by Overton as she sped past the entire Union team. The Lady Cubs maintained their lead and margin of 59-29 to at the end of the third quarter. In the final quarter of the contest, Hampton used various lineups consisting of a mix of starters and reserves to close the deal.
“We try to keep fresh legs on the floor,” Miller-Hampton explained. “This should help us as we move forward in the tournament.” Overton led all scores with 22 points followed by Wheatley with 15. Rigby led Union with nine points.