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The streak is over after 97 straight losses
Lady Gamecocks whip Portal 39-24
Storming out to an insurmountable 14-1 lead after the first eight minutes of play, the Screven County High School Lady Gamecocks of Coach Stephanie Davis downed visiting Portal’s Lady Panthers by a 39-24 count at the Harold Lee Scott Gymnasium on Dec. 27.
In the process, the Red and White picked up their first win since Feb. 13, 2013, and ended what may have been the longest girls’ basketball losing streak -- 97 games -- ever in the state of Georgia.
“They were beyond excited,” exclaimed Davis. “One of the seniors made the comment that this was the first time that they had won a game since middle school (last year’s seniors did not win a game in high school), so it meant a lot to them.”
From the time the SCHS lead reached double figures, 12-1 at the 2:01 mark of the first stanza, until the final horn sounded with a final of 39-24, the SCHS lead never went under those double digits.
The largest was 16, first at 17-1 and the halftime score of 21-5. Eleven was the closest it ever got after the early second quarter when Portal made a 4-0 run to make the count 28-17 with 5:15 left in the game.
Asked about the significance of the big start Davis answered, “We have talked about getting off to a good start all year. We have had a tendency to wait until the second half to start to play, and by the time we decide to play, we have dug such a big hole.”
To bear out Davis’ comment, in three of the team’s four close losses -- 24-23 to Bacon County, 41-37 to Appling County, and 26-25 to Southeast Bulloch -- fourth quarter comebacks fell just short.
The Lady Gamecocks trailed Bacon by 15-9 at the half; Appling by 29-20 after three; and SEB by 18-12 after three. The three-point loss to Harlem, 25-22, saw SCHS trail 8-2 after one, but come back to lead 12-9 at the half.
The all-important first quarter saw NyAsia Phillips score the first points with a pair of free throws with 6:24 left and Patrice Roberts hit for a three and a free throw within another minute.
When Phillips hit a basket the Lady Gamecocks were up 8-0 barely halfway through the quarter. Portal scored its only first quarter point with 3:11 remaining and then went five more minutes before scoring again.
Also crucial to the win was the free throw line as the team shot 60 percent (18-30) from the stripe (a similar percentage would have beaten both Bacon County and Appling County).
Precious Anderson was 4-4 from the line; Phillips and Meliyah Atkins 3-4 each; and Roberts 5-8 to lead the way.
“We have emphasized the importance of free throws and how they impact the game,” said Davis. “They are starting to pay attention to the little things now.”
On the night, the Red and White also dominated the boards with Anderson pulling down 10; Madison Lewis six; and Phillips five. For the game, Roberts had 12 points and Lewis 11. Atkins and Phillips each contributed five.
The last time the Lady Gamecocks scored more than 39 points was in a 62-40 loss to Burke County on Dec. 17, 2013.
It was not a victory reserved for just the starters as Davis emptied her bench at the end with all 16 players dressed getting playing time.
With the burden of the streak off their back, the Lady Gamecocks traveled to Butler two days ago; will travel to Westside Friday night; and Jefferson County Saturday night before coming back to host Glenn Hills on Jan. 9.
“The girls also realize that we can’t we can’t just be content with winning a game,” said Davis. “We have to use this as a something to build on and keep working. It’s a process, and they are beginning to trust the process.”