By ADAM GORE
Up 28-23 at the break, the Pontotoc Lady Warriors made their adjustments at halftime and were able to pull away for a 60-37 home-court win over South Pontotoc on Tuesday of last week.
“They got the game to their tempo and slowed it down,” said Lady Warrior head coach Bill Russell.
“We came out in the second half did a better job defensively to get the game going at our pace.”
Pontotoc picked up their intensity on defense to get the game going their way and create easy opportunities for Di’Amber Johnson in the open floor.
The Lady Warriors took advantage by running the ball off missed shots and getting aggressive on the boards when CeCee Austin went out of the game with an ankle injury.
“She (Johnson) kind of took the game over in the second half,” Russell declared.
“They came out in a triangle-and-two to slow her down a little bit.
“Lauren (Rosado) came out and hit some threes for us to pull them out of it.
“Di’ took over in the second half, especially in the third quarter.” Johnson scored 14 of the team’s 19 third-quarter points and finished with a game high 28.
“She is Michael Jordan-like with her ability to take over games,” Coach Waldrop said.
“I thought we did a good job defending her, but when she is hitting step-back threes, there is not a lot you can do against anyone when they are doing that.”
Lauren Rosado ended the night with 10 points for the Lady Warriors, while Raelynn Putman led the Lady Cougars with 12 and Jessi Hayles 11.
“You can only pull so many rabbits out of your sleeve,” Waldrop added.
“The last time we played them we caught them off guard with our defensive adjustments, but this time they were ready for it.
“I thought we did a good job against their press tonight, but we just didn’t shoot the ball well enough against them this time around.”