The Moultrie Observer
The Colquitt County girls basketball team appears to have put a midseason funk behind it as it tries to build some momentum for the Region 1-AAAAAA tournament.
The Lady Packers will chase their fourth win in a row tonight when they travel to Douglas to meet Coffee.
The recent streak began after the Lady Packers lost a difficult-to-swallow 44-41 decision at Valdosta on Jan. 22.
That loss keeps the Colquitt County girls from taking anything better than the No. 3 seed for the tournament, which will begin Feb. 12 at Valdosta High.
The Lady Packers are now 5-5 in the region, trailing 8-0 Tift County and 7-3 Valdosta. Even if the Lady Packers defeat Coffee tonight and Tift County a week from tonight and Valdosta loses its last two games, Colquitt will still finish No. 3.
But a strong finish could provide a boost to their tournament preparations.
In addition to the two region games, the Lady Packers also have two non-region games remaining, both at home, against Albany High on Saturday and against Turner County on Tuesday.
In their second tour through the region schedule, the Lady Packers have avenged earlier losses to Brunswick and Lowndes.
And they defeated Coffee 53-46 when the two teams met on the William Bryant Court at the Gladys Espy Gymnasium on Jan. 12.
They won’t want to falter after they make the long bus ride today.
The Lady Packers continue to rely heavily on the scoring of Makeba Ponder, who is averaging 20.8 points overall and 21.2 against region opponents.
Ponder was big down the stretch in the victory over Lowndes on Tuesday. After being held scoreless in the first quarter, she finished with 25 points, including 11 in the decisive fourth quarter.
But in the last two games, the Lady Packers have begun to get some scoring from another source.
Dexshalyn Polite, who had not scored more than eight points in a region game, has scored 13 in each of the last two.
“She really has her confidence level up,” Lady Packers coach Rondesha Williams said.
Scoring from another source will help take some of the pressure off Ponder.
The Lady Packers helped themselves immensely on Tuesday with an outstanding performance from the foul line, where they hit 22-of-32.
“And Ja’nice (Sailor) really stepped up and hit some critical free throws,” Williams said of her senior guard, who was 7-for-8 from the free throw line and was 4-for-4 in the fourth quarter as the Lady Packers rallied from a three-point deficit with four minutes remaining to win by four, 58-54.
Williams also was pleased with her team’s defense.
“Our defense corrects our offense,” Williams said.
Against the Vikettes, the Lady Packers found themselves down by four at the end of the first quarter and by five at the half.
Colquitt cannot afford to continue to get off to slow starts.
“We just didn’t come out ready to play in the first half,” Williams said.
The Coffee girls will take a 2-5 region record into tonight’s game. The Lady Trojans are 11-7 overall.
The Colquitt County boys will try to snap a nine-game losing streak when they meet the Trojans in tonight’s second game.
The Packers, 3-14 overall and 1-9 in the region, are coming off a 48-45 loss to Lowndes on Tuesday.
Colquitt pulled to within three on driving layup by Kenji Thompson with 10.5 seconds left, but that was as close as the Packers could get.
Kamoris Woods played well inside, scoring 21 points. Junior guard Xavier Terry had 12, including a 3-pointer with 24.6 seconds left that pulled the Packers to within three.
The Coffee boys are 14-5 overall and 5-2 in the region and will take a four-game winning streak into the game.
The Trojans won the first meeting between the two teams by a 61-44 score.