Lady Billies humbled by Dollarway after blowing out Crossett
When only two of your opponent’s players score in a basketball game, chances are most coaches will walk off the court with a victory.
Except when you’ve got issues with your own lineup, Monticello coach Lucy Williams lamented after her Lady Billies fell to Dollarway 58-45 Tuesday night. That surprising result followed a 69-21 Monticello cakewalk over Crossett last Friday, also at home.
“I think our attitude showed tonight,” said Williams, whose squad dropped 2-3 in Class 4A, District 8 play and to 8-8 overall. “You’ve got to have a little character when you’re playing—when you’ve got competition. Competition should bring out the best in you, but tonight it brought out our worst.
“We can beat that group but you’ve got to have some character and you’ve got to stick with what you know. Teenagers either need to go play or call. You don’t need to try and do both. But we’ll play better.”
Still, the fact that just two Lady Cardinals were able to put the ball through the netting (actually, three scored but the other player had only two points) should have given home-standing Monticello an advantage. When one of those athletes is Jayana Sanders, though, it gives her team a decided edge.
“She was the best player on the court, by far,” Williams said of the Dollarway junior. “We couldn’t stay in front of her; we couldn’t slower her down. She’s quick as a cat. And when she wasn’t scoring, she was passing to the big girl.”
Sanders poured in a game-high 34 points against the Lady Billies, and “the big girl,” 6-foot senior Serenity Alexander added 22 for Dollarway. Even with junior Brandashia Hargraves’ team-leading 19 points for Monticello, the Dollarway duo was more than enough.
Despite Sanders’ and Alexander’s scoring prowess, the game was tight until the fourth quarter. In fact, the teams went into the final eight minutes tied at 33-33. A 25-12 explosion by the Lady Cardinals was the deciding factor.
Only five Monticello players scored in the game. Sophomore Daryn Spencer followed Hargraves on Lady Billie scoring charts with 10 points.
Against Crossett, Monticello posted a 17-2 first-quarter advantage and added 24 more in the second period to grab a commanding 41-9 lead at intermission. It was downhill from there for the Lady Billies.
“I told the girls at halftime we were going to treat this as a practice,” Williams said after watching the demolition of the Lady Eagles. “It’s always good to practice against somebody other than your teammates. They played well. We’ve still got some growing up to do but everybody played snd contributed.”
Hargraves was again the leading scorer for Monticello with 21 points. Seventeen of those came in the first half; 11 in the first eight minutes alone. Junior classmate Kiara Franklin followed with 15 points, assisted by an 8-for-12 performance from the free-throw line.
Two other Lady Billies—Spencer and her sophomore classmate Dai’ Brina Anderson—also reached double figures. Each chipped in with 10 points.
The road doesn’t get any easier for the Lady Billies. Next up is perennial powerhouse Star City, which owns a 106-game conference winning streak after a win Tuesday night. Game time in Star City on Friday is 5:30 p.m. and just the two senior teams will make the trip.