Spalding drops its second straight game to fall to 10-10 overall and 4-8 in region play, remaining in a last-place tie with Upson-Lee. First-place Jonesboro won its 9th straight game to improve to 17-4, 10-2 and sweep the season series with Spalding.
The first time these teams met (Jan. 8), Jonesboro rolled to a 19-6 first-quarter lead at Spalding High. Jonesboro passed the ball inside to dominant post players Kimberly Dawkins and Michaelle Smith that night, with the sophomore Smith torching the Lady Jags for 27 points and 12 rebounds. On Friday, the Lady Jags boxed Smith and Dawkins on the inside and made the Lady Cards shoot from the outside. Spalding only scored 6 points in the quarter again, but Jonesboro was a bit flustered and only led 11-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Jonesboro adjusted to Spalding's defense in the second. The Lady Cards went on a 9-4 run to take a 20-10 lead at the 5:10 mark and the rout was on. Since Spalding shut out any inside action, Jonesboro then started hitting from the outside, draining 3-pointers to increase their lead over the Lady Jags. Jonesboro took a 28-14 halftime lead.
Spalding had to adjust to Jonesboro's hot shooting and that opened up the paint for Lady Cardinals guards Briana Benson and Victoria Florence to either make a layup or dish to Smith and Dawkins. Jonesboro also stepped it up on defense, holding Spalding to 5 third-quarter points. It also helped the home team's cause that Spalding missed 8 shots and a free throw in the period, allowing the Lady Cards to lead 46-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams emptied their benches midway through the final stanza, as Jonesboro coasted the rest of the way. Benson led Jonesboro with 17 points, Florence added 15 and Smith scored 10 points and added 10 rebounds on her 16th birthday. The Lady Cards were 9 of 19 from 3-point range Friday.
Twandalette Cotton was the only Lady Jag in double figures with 16 points. Desiree Corbin only scored 2 points, but she added 6 rebounds and 5 blocks for Spalding, which hosted region foe Griffin Saturday and hosts region foe North Clayton on Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. on Senior Night.