On December 18th the Lady Patriots hosted the East Mecklenburg Lady Eagles in a Southwestern 4A Conference game.
At the start of the game it appeared that the Lady Patriots were still suffering from the previous Friday’s night poor shooting. In the first eight minutes Indy made only one basket which was a 3-pointer by Sharonda Smith with 2:42 left in the first quarter. However, the Lady Eagles scored only six points and led the Lady Patriots 6-3 at the end of the fist period.
Scoring for both teams picked up in the second quarter. Indy’s Sharonda Smith cut the score to two 6-4 with 6:40 showing on the clock. At the 3:10 mark East Meck had moved out to a five point lead 15-10. Then the Lady Eagles went on a 6-0 run and took an eleven point lead with 2:00 remaining in the first half. In the last two minutes, the Lady Patriots added four more points and held the Lady Eagles scoreless to make the halftime score 21-14.
As the third period began, it was apparent that Coach Galvani made some defensive adjustments. The Lady Patriots stepped up their defensive pressure allowing only eleven second half points. Ayanna Anderson became very aggressive on the boards and the Lady Patriots’ shooting improved.
By the 6:21 mark Indy’s Laura Flynn had cut the score to three points 21-18. With 5:10 showing on the clock Sharonda Smith drained another three pointer to cut the score to two points 23-21. With 29.6 seconds left in the third period, junior Natalyah Wilson buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Lady Patriots in the lead 28-27.
Indy’s Ayanna Anderson started the final period hitting a ten foot jumper to make the score 30-27 and the Lady Patriots never looked back. A minute later Anderson made the score 32-27 making a couple of free throws. Thirty seconds later East Meck put Braylyn Milton on the line. Milton made both of her shots to increase Indy’s lead to 34-27.
On East Meck’s next possession Natalyah Wilson stole the ball and drove to the basket. Her shot came off the rim. Ayanna Anderson was following the play, grabbed the rebound, and made the layup putting Indy up 36-27 with 6:05 remaining in the game. Milton made two more free throws that put Indy up by eleven 38-27. Indy’s pressure defense continued to pay off as Braylyn Milton picked up a steal and went coast-to-coast for the layup putting the Lady Patriots up 40-28 with 3:35 to play. At the 3:26 mark Indy’s Jazmins Draughn made another steal and passed to Milton under the basket. East Meck committed a foul, and Milton went to the free throw line. Milton made both of her free throws increasing Indy’s lead to 42-28.
The Lady Patriots continued their defensive pressure and finished the final period with Ayanna Anderson hitting a basket, 44-32, with 1:44 left to play. On East Meck’s inbounds pass Braylyn Milton stole the ball, drove for the layup, scored and was fouled. After making both of her free throws, Indy moved out to a 15 point lead 47-32 with 59.9 seconds left in the game.
With 30 seconds left, Ayanna Anderson stole the ball, and the Lady Patriots were content to hold the ball while time ran out. However, Indy committed a turnover. On East Meck’s inbounds pass the Lady Patriots came up with the ball and passed to Braylyn Milton for the score as the game ended with the Lady Patriots taking a 49-32 conference win.
Braylyn Milton led the Lady Patriots with 16 points, 13 of them came in the fourth quarter. Ayanna Anderson poured in 12 points. Sharonda Smith had 7 points. Laura Flynn added 6 points. Azuria Barrino scored 5 points, and Natalyah Wilson finished up with 3 points.
The Lady Patriots improved to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
East Mecklenburg 6 15 6 5 – 32
Independence 3 11 14 21 – 49