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Lafayette basketball splits with Saltillo as girls finish 6-0 in Region 2-5A

By Jared Redding

The better team showed itself early and often Tuesday night.

The Lafayette Lady Commodores ended region play on a high, suffocating Saltillo by the score of 47-15 to finish the regular season perfect with a 6-0 region record. It was also their seventh win a row after an overtime loss to Belmont at the Tangle on the Trail on Jan. 6.

The Lady Commodores (17-6) had already clinched the top seed for next month’s Region 2-5A tournament at Saltillo with their win at West Point last Friday. As a team, they are peaking at the right time according to head coach Shane Linzy.

“We’re going in the right direction now, heading into the last three regular season games and going into the region tournament,” Linzy said. “We’re really starting to put it all together and that is a good sign especially at this time of the year. This is when you really to start doing that.”

Their performance was highlighted by a stifling defensive effort. Lafayette did not allow Saltillo to score a field goal until under 20 seconds left in the second quarter. They were also creating turnovers left and right early on.

“We are playing really good on the defensive end and that is what we pride ourselves on. Our offense is going to come through our defense” Linzy said. “To be able to defend the way that we are defending, it makes me really proud of how we are playing.”

Offensively, the scoring was spread out for Lafayette. They were led by Xhiir Burgess’ 12 points. Her performance tonight goes to show how much of a offensive weapon she has become at this point of the season.

“This year (Burgess has) really added an offensive game. She’s become a real offensive weapon for us, not just around the basket, but she can shoot those 15 footers as good as anybody,” Linzy said.
Kimaya Dixon also had an impressive outing with 11 points. Azariah Buford and Mariah Holland each added eight points.

Boys struggle in loss
The feeling after the game was the exact opposite for the boy’s team. It was a night full of frustration for the Commodores and they fell to the Tigers 66-37, finishing with a regular season record of 2-4 in region play.

The majority of the frustration came from a myriad of turnovers committed by Lafayette (4-11). Many of those turnovers occurred when Saltillo turned up the heat defensively with their half court press. It gave the Commodores all kinds of problems.

“We were just very careless with the ball. Saltillo’s press caused us to make bad decisions,” Lafayette coach John Sherman said. “That team brings out the worst in us. They put us in a position to make mistakes.”

Lafayette hung tough with Saltillo for the majority of the first quarter, only trailing by three after the first eight minutes. The second quarter was a nightmare for the Commodores as they were outscored 22-4 going into the locker room. The Commodores never recovered from that point on.

“When you lose your composure, bad things happen,” Sherman said.

Jonah Matlock and Stephon Isom led the charge with 10 and nine points respectively for Lafayette.