Lady ‘Dores clamp down for region win

Published 6:00 am Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lafayette’s girls basketball team didn’t have the outside touch Friday it’s been accustomed to this season.

But the Commodores had plenty of defense to make up for it.

Lafayette suffocated Senatobia’s offense, quickly built a double-digit lead and cruised to a 50-31 win at the Lafayette High gym that kept the Commodores in position to be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Region 2-4A tournament with one region game to go.

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Shaniyah Buford led the Commodores with a game-high 16 points while Xhiir Burgess had eight points.

All of Lafayette’s points came inside the 3-point line, a rarity for the Commodores (14-6, 3-1 Region 2-4A). But Lafayette didn’t allow the visiting Warriors to get points from hardly anywhere on the floor with Senatobia scoring no more than six points in each of the first three quarters.

“We’re not totally reliant on the 3, but the 3-point shot is a big part of our game,” Lafayette coach Shayne Linzy said. “It didn’t fall tonight. So the good news is it didn’t fall tonight, and we were still able to win and win comfortably.”

Senatobia (10-12, 1-3) scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, but Lafayette, which led 15-3 after one quarter, had a 35-14 cushion before it started. Destini Cathey and Dakerria Allen did most of the late scoring for the Warriors against the Commodores’ stifling man defense, finishing with 15 and 10 points, respectively.

It was a defensive effort that was more recognizable for Linzy after watching his team surrender 115 combined points to Byhalia and Ripley in its previous two outings.

“Defensively we really played well,” Linzy said. “We didn’t do anything fancy offensively. (Senatobia) actually played pretty good defense. They’re scrappy. I liked the way it was going. Yeah, I wanted to score some more points, but defense is what we’re good at.

“It was good to see us play defense like that. It’s been a while since we’ve done that, and I was glad to see that.”

LHS boys fall
A prolonged scoring drought ruined the chance for Lafayette’s boys to pick up their first region win in the second game of Friday’s varsity twinbill as the Commodores suffered a 51-32 loss to Senatobia.

Chris Long had 10 points for Lafayette. Hogan Linzy added eight.

Lafayette (4-11, 0-4 Region 2-4A) went more than nine minutes of game time, including the entire second quarter, without scoring, which turned a five-point deficit after the opening quarter into a runaway win for the Warriors (13-9, 1-3). Lafayette coach John Sherman credited Senatobia’s full-court pressure for most of the Commodores’ struggles.

“We took bad shots because we were rattled,” Sherman said. “I thought the referees allowed them to play very physical in the press, and it just kept us from getting in an offensive rhythm. … We didn’t respond very well to that.”

The Commodores had nine points in the first eight minutes but didn’t score again until the 6:30 mark of the third quarter with Senatobia leading by more than 20 points. Alvarez Powell led the Warriors with 13 points while Travis Tucker chipped in 10.

“They just whipped us in every phase of the game,” Sherman said. “Rebounding, defense, offense, ball handling. They just took us to the woodshed.”