The Lady Tigers started their game exactly how a team facing the number one team in the region, on the road, would want to start. They spread the ball around until there was an open shot, or space to drive I to the basket. Maya Benham came out firing, hitting two threes in the first quarter, and heading into the second, Douglas County led 13-11.
The things that were working for the Lady Tigers in the first quarter did not appear to carry over. The Langston Hughes defense tightened up and in most of Douglas County's possessions they would force the ball into spots that just weren't there. On top of that, the Lady Panthers developed a consistent groove on offense led by guard Kennya Simms. DC only managed to put up two points in the quarter and heading into halftime, the Lady Tigers were facing an uphill battle, trailing 26-15.
The Lady Tigers put their ugly second quarter behind them and started the second half on a 9-2 run, reflecting the great start by Douglas County at the beginning of the game. However, Langston Hughes adjusted, once again, and closed out the third quarter effectively, giving them the same 11 point lead they held at halftime, 41-30.
The fourth quarter provided intensity along with entertainment. Just when it appeared that Langston Hughes would cruise along to another region victory, Douglas County went on a 10-3 run, including a couple big contested layups from guard Santasia Faust. Although, Langston Hughes, with their proven resiliency held on by hitting big free throws in the final minutes. DC's Amadi Brooks and Langston Hughes' Brianca Caldwell tied for a game high 14 points.
The Douglas County boys team got off to an equally effective start. The offense was spreading the wealth as five players scored, but it was apparent that guard Brandon Robinson had his stroke down as he began firing the threes early and often, carrying into the second quarter. At the end of the first quarter, DC led 20-10.
The tempo for both teams saw a significant increase, and both teams benefited from the up and down scoring. Robinson continued to hit his threes, and it was guard K'Ja Johnson contributing to the transition layups. However, Langston Hughes’ guard kept his team in the game, scoring an astounding 18 points in the first half, from all spots on the court. Langston finished a late run and trailed 35-31 at the end of the half.
Langston Hughes came right out of the gates in the second half with a 13-4 run, putting them ahead for the first time in the game. The Tigers responded in a big way, including a big transition dunk from Johnson. Neither team could separate and were locked up at 50 entering the final quarter.
Langston Hughes' Sellman kept his dominance on the offensive side going in the fourth quarter. It was surprising that he kept finding ways to get open over and over again as well. Meanwhile, DC star Justin Bridges, who was quiet for a major portion of the game, came alive when it mattered most. Bridges scored 12 points in the quarter, including a transition dunk that swayed all momentum to the DC side, sealing the game. Sellman led all scoring with 36, scoring over half of the Panther's points. Bridges led the DC scoring with 19.
The boys team is hot at the right time, hosting Lithia Springs, along with the girls, tomorrow night.