Lithia Springs Lions overcame a rough start to defeat the Riverwood Raiders 53-40 Tuesday evening in Region 6-AAAAA action on Senior Night.
Lithia Springs improves to 12-9 overall and 9-3 in Region 6-AAAAA play to remain in third place in the standings while Riverwood falls to 9-14 and 6-7.
The iron was unkind to Lions in the first quarter as they missed 14 shots (9 from 3-point range) and missed four free throws in the period.
Riverwood made its shots and was able to sprint to a 14-6 lead after the first. The Raiders scored five straight points to start the second quarter for the 19-6 lead and that prompted LS head coach David Mills to call a timeout.
Whatever Mills said in the timeout seemed to work, because the Lions finally dented Riverwood’s 2-3 zone and climbed back in the game.
“I told the girls during the timeout that we need to play better on defense and get the ball inside on offense,” Mills said. “I’m glad they listened.”
Lithia Springs started passing the ball to post players Demeara Hinds and Adaora Onwumelu and that paid dividends for LS. Onwumelu scored eight points in the second quarter and the 6-2 Hinds scored six to cap an 18-5 run, giving Lions the 24-23 halftime lead.
Lithia Springs freshman guard Jordynn Webster sank two 3-pointers in the third quarter and the Lady Lions played great defense to take a 40-32 lead into the fourth.
Lithia Springs opened up its biggest lead of the game, 46-32, with four minutes left before Riverwood tried to make a run. But Hinds converted a 3-point play to make the score 49-36 and the Lions cruised the rest of the way for the win. After scoring 14 points in the first, the Lions held Riverwood to single-digit point totals in the remaining three periods.
“I’m proud of the girls for gutting out a win, especially playing so well on the defensive end,” Mills said. “Hopefully we can keep the momentum going in our next two games.”
Senior guard Amira Williams said she was happy to keep the Senior Night winning streak alive at Lithia Springs.
“I’m happy we won on Senior Night again; we’ve done that ever since I’ve been here,” Williams said. “We started slow against Riverwood, but we played good defense and came out with the win.”
Hinds led Lithia Springs with 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, followed by Onwumelu with 13 points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks, and Webster and Sheryl Sarpong with 10 points each. Sarpong snagged seven boards for Lithia Springs, which travels to play region foe North Springs on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Clara Bensimon and Olivia Wright scored 11 points each for Riverwood.