Lady Stags close out first half with win
The early going for the Berkeley Lady Stags this season has followed something of a Jekyll and Hyde game script. Play a somewhat challenging game and lose, and then come back the next night and play like barn-busters and win.
This week started with a lackluster loss to Cane Bay on Monday 31-23, but BHS bounced back to blow out Stratford 47-35.
The trend has left Coach Crystal Peace shaking her head.
“Monday night, we started off good, but then we fell off for some reason,” she said. “We shot poorly from the field. They played hard in spurts; hence the topic of consistency comes about again.”
The Lady Stags jumped out to an early 9-5 lead after the game’s first eight minutes behind four points each from Bria Liferidge and Alayah Jones.
In the second quarter Berkeley began drawing lots of iron and had trouble buying a basket, tallying just four points, on a field goal by Shaniya Daniels and a free throw each from Jones and Jill Funk.
The third quarter went from bad to worse for the Lady Stags, tallying just three points on a long distance trey from Funk.
“We had a game plan, but I also realize that: if we can’t hit buckets, it’s pretty tough to overcome poor free throw shooting and turnovers,” Peace said.
The Lady Cobras didn’t fare much better, scoring just seven points of their own in the third quarter to take a 25-16 lead into the game’s final frame.
The Lady Stags had the shots, and the opportunity to close the gap and even win the game, but the buckets wouldn’t fall and Berkeley came out on the short end of the stick 31-23 to fall to 2-4.
But that’s okay, because Berkeley traveled to Stratford on Wednesday to finish out its home-and-home series with the Lady Knights, and the Lady Stags played like they owned the scarlet and black the first time out.
Wednesday night’s game proved no different.
“We started off a little slow,” Peaces said. “It’s almost like they waited a few minutes to get going.”
The Lady Knights jumped out to an early 9-4 lead, which the Lady Stags overcame in an 11-point second quarter to trail 18-15 at the half.
In the second half the Lady Stags came to life and put the game away with 16-point quarters in the third and fourth stanzas. Alayah Jones found the hot hand pouring in 18 points to lead Berkeley.
“Alayah played really well,” Peace said. “She has definitely been one of our more consistent players. She works the boards and gets easy buckets because of that.”
Peace said the key to the comeback effort was finding their rhythm on the floor.
“We hit a couple shots and that got them going. I’ve been telling them to be confident in their shots and their abilities. They won’t make them all, but shoot them like you know it’s going in.”
Sabrina Moody led the Lady Knights with 11 points.
At 3-4 going into the break, Peace would like to see an improvement in the wins and losses, but is happy with her team’s overall play.
“We’re getting it and we’re getting there,” she said. “The girls are working and hard and we’re having fun.”
Over the break, the Lady Stags will take part in the Carolina Invitational Tournament, Dec. 27-30 in Charleston.