The Lady Jags struggled on their first two days of the Allatoona tourney but managed to salvage a win in day three, defeating Roswell, 53-41.
New Manchester managed to outscore Roswell in nearly every period, taking the first 6-3, the second 16-12, and the fourth 23-18. They tied the third period at 8-8-.
“Having the lead in the final quarter was a new experience for us,” said NMHS girls coach Josh Martin. “We did a lot of good things tonight defensively, and it was probably our best performance of the season.”
Deesha Brefford, despite being in a lot of pain playing on a sprained ankle, which she received in a game on Friday, led the Lady Jags offensively with 19 points.
“We were worried she would be limited, but she came out and did a lot of good things,” Martin said. “She attacked the basket and played through the pain.
Taiylar Hibbard followed Brefford’s performance with 11 points. Deshauna Smith added 10.
“Taiylar finally broke out today, attacked the basket well and got some open shots,” Martin said. “Deshauna has a ton of potential and did a great job picking off passes in the lane.”
The Jaguar boys opened their tourney with a win Thursday against Hapeville Charter to move on to the semi-final game in the eight team field. In the semi’s, the Jags ran into a good North Atlanta team. Both teams fought a close battle before New Manchester fell 65-58.
The Jags were never outscored by more than two points in any period against North Altanta. However, they lost every quarter by the slimmest of margins, 16-14, 10-9, 22-21, and 17-15.
“I didn’t think we defended enough,” said NMHS David Cottrell. “They had a talented point guard and we were not able to get enough stops.”
Offensively, the Jags had several standouts. Keymont Jenkins led the team with 22 points. Joe Boyer followed with 18.
After the loss to North Atlanta, New Manchester closed out their first tournament with a match against Mays in the third place game. The Jags lost their closing game 51-38.
The Jaguars played a good first half, ending the first period tied at 9-9 and then taking a halftime lead, 23-21. However, the offense went cold in the second half and Mays outscored New Manchester 14-6 and 16-9.
“We did not execute and hit the shots we needed to,” said NMHS coach David Cottrell. “Our lack of offense also effected us on the defensive end. We did not respond to adversity well.”
Keymont Jenkins led the Jags with 10 points.
Despite the loss, Cottrell believed the tourney was a huge success for everyone involved.
“There were a lot of competitive games. Every team was able to get something out of it,” he added. “This is something we will look to continue.”
Newnan took the tournament championship with a 58-56 victory over North Atlanta in the title game.
As for his team, Cottrell saw some positives, even after going 1-2 overall.
“We were able to play some younger guys and that will help us down the stretch in region play,” he said. “We have to rely on each other, trust each other, and play together.”
New Manchester will start the second half of the season in a non-region game against Starr’s Mill on Jan. 5. The girls will play at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow at 7:30 p.m.
Both the Lady Jags and the Jaguar boys will be back in action on Jan. 5 when they host Starr’s Mill. The girls game will tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow.