Both teams played in the Griffin High Girls Summer League Basketball Camp at The House Tuesday afternoon, with the Lady Bears of Griffin taking advantage of several Lady Jags turnovers in the second half to beat Spalding, 48-31.
Although this was a summer league game, head coaches Veronica Lee of Griffin and Demetrius King of Spalding played several girls who will probably be starting for each team during the winter high school basketball season. In fact, these two teams will get to know each other well as they will play each other for at least the next two seasons. Both Griffin and Spalding will be in the same region starting next year.
Griffin ran over a flat Spalding team early in the first half Tuesday, jumping out to a 6-0 lead thanks to spirited play from Deineria Phillips. Twandalette Cotton scored the first basket for the Lady Jags of Spalding — a rebound layup — to cut the lead to 6-2.
Spalding, which only had six players show up Tuesday, attacked the basket later in the half and finally got the ball to 6-foot-2 post player Desiree Corbin for a few layups. Despite a bevy of turnovers by both teams along with the back-and-forth action, Griffin hung in with Spalding in the first half and the Lady Bears only led 23-16 at halftime.
“We didn’t play a bad first half, but we missed some easy baskets and that led to fast-break opportunities for Spalding,” Lee said at halftime. “We also didn’t play good enough defense on their post player Corbin. We gave up too many lob passes to her.”
King said he was proud of the Lady Jags’ first-half efforts.
“We attacked the basket on the break and got rebounds,” said King. “When we get rebounds, we can start a fast break and get easy shots.”
Unfortunately for Spalding, the Lady Bears got the majority of the rebounds in the second half and put the game away. Thanks to the hustle and good play from Aurelia Mangham, Chelsea Prather and Alexis Roberts, Griffin outscored Spalding 18-10 to turn the seven-point halftime lead to a 41-26 lead, sealing the game. Spalding committed several second-half turnovers — mainly due to tired legs — and Griffin capitalized on them, getting plenty of easy baskets. Griffin post player Xandria Hosely and her teammates also snagged several offensive rebounds, which led to points.
“We played much better defense in the second half. The girls also seemed to be more energetic after halftime,” Lee said. “We executed on offense and got in the passing lanes on defense.”
King said Griffin’s hustle hurt the Lady Jags in the second half.
“They got to all the loose balls and got a bunch of offensive rebounds,” he said. “When you commit turnovers and don’t get rebounds, that leads to losses.”
Corbin and Cotton were joined by Jasmine Bradley, Jasmine Holland, Grenishia Daniel and Jayla Freeman on the court for Spalding.