The Lions and Lady Lions of Lithia Springs traveled to Paulding County Tuesday evening to kick off the second half of the 2014-15 season. The Lady Lions dominated from start to finish, picking up a 5-AAAAA region victory, 68-43. The LSHS boys turned their offense up a notch in the second half, defeating PCHS, 67-53..
The Lithia girls jumped out to a 17-7 first quarter lead and led 38-18 at the half. They were up, 49-30 at the end of the third quarter.
“We got our running game going tonight and were able to get baskets in transition,” said LSHS girls coach David Mills. “We were way more balanced offensively than we normally are.”
The Lady Lions had four players score in double digits. Leading the way was Kiana Johnson, who netted a game high 14 points.
“This was a typical Kiana night,” Mills said. “You really don't know what she has done until you look at the stats after the game. We don’t run anything to her, she just finds a way to get to the basket and takes advantage of her opportunities.”
Auna McCalla and Angelique Mabry had 13 points apiece. McCalla scored all 13 of her points in the first half, setting the tone for the Lady Panthers early. Mabry, a sophomore competing in only her third varsity game, scored her points in transition and on drives to the basket. T’era Fullove added 10 points, most of which came off put-backs.
Arit Asanga did a good job defensively and at point guard. She scored seven points, had seven assists, and five steals.
“She was our floor general on offense and set her teammates up for easy baskets,” Mills said. “Defensively, it was another typically good job.”
The Lady Lion offense has been hit or miss so far this year. They have scored has high as 85, but have also been kept under 40. Mills said his team is still trying to find consistency.
In the boys game, Paulding County and Lithia Springs battled to a 13-13 first quarter tie. Paulding then took a two point lead by the break, but the Lions fought back to go up, 44-39 at the end of the third quarter. Lithia outscored Paulding, 23-14 over the final eight minutes for the win.
“Paulding is a team that shoots 3’s every time they come down the court and it was like my guys forgot about that in the second quarter,” said LSHS boys coach JW Cantrell. “They had one guy hit four 3’s in the quarter, but in the second half we started guarding them and that was the difference of the game.”
Offensively, LSHS spread the ball around. Qunta Bedford led the scoring with 18 points. He scored eight points in the third quarter, and continued to dominate into the fourth quarter when Paulding was forced to guard him, man-to-man.
“No one can guard Qunta man-to-man,” Cantrell said. “He was getting the ball high in the post and attacking.”
Tylen Walker followed Bedford with 17 points. He scored nine points in the fourth quarter and hit a jumper that sealed the deal when it put the Lions up by eight. Daquan Huff was next on the list with 14 points.
“Daquan started off the game by giving me a headache with two quick fouls,” Cantrell said. “But he started to attack and was picking up a lot of steals.”
Kamari Williams added nine points, but he contributed more than just scoring to the team.
“He was blocking shots, rebounding, and getting touches,” Cantrell said. “He is our glue.”
Cantrell added that both Williams and Huff did an outstanding job defensively, while Huff led the offense from the point.
“We went on the road and beat a team with a winning record and that was ahead of us in the region,” Cantrell said. Can’t ask for more than that.”