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DULUTH (GA) – The Archer Lady Tigers quickly decreased the chances of a third straight loss.
After dropping back-to-back games to Brookwood and region foe Norcross, Archer rapidly jumped ahead of the Duluth Lady Wildcats on the way to 52-30 road win during region competition January 19.
Courtney Nesbitt (nine points, five rebounds) and Ashanti Bryant (six points) got the offense going in the right direction early in the first quarter by contributing two baskets each during an 11-2 start. Then to close out the frame, Mearah Whitehead (nine rebounds) and Taniya McGowan (15 points) both turned steals into layins on the other end for a 17-7 advantage heading into the second quarter.
Olivia Orsley (six points) and Kennedy Coleman continued that trend in the second quarter before Nesbitt found Mia Walker for a layin, resulting in a 27-14 lead at the break.
“We really emphasize defense a lot in practice,” Archer girls’ coach Dani Wright said. “We want to make our defense strong and tough so we can convert it into offense and get those easier points rather than playing in a half-court set all the time.”
In the second half, Archer’s defense continued to stifle Duluth’s offense, while forcing two shot-clock violations. On the opposite end, McGowan, who finished 5-for-6 from the foul line, led the offense with 11 of her 15 points in the final two quarters.
Nesbitt could have been credited with the assist of the game when she wrestled away a rebound from a defender and passed to McGowan for a layup in third. The Lady Tigers had 10 players score at least one field goal.
“We always reiterate team ball,” Wright said. “It’s not just one person that does it. Everyone has got to contribute whatever way that is, rebounding, shooting, playing good defense so it just helps us out as a whole.”
Jada Richardson led the Lady Wildcats with 11 points and Shaniya Farmer and Jayla Alexander both scored seven. Farmer, Megan Mares, Saniya Jones and Asja Howell all grabbed six boards.