Tiffany Wilson scored 12 points and Kayla Potts and Shakira Thompson added seven apiece in Forest Park’s 39-30 home victory over Northside Warner-Robins last Friday in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.
As a result of their eighth consecutive win, the Lady Panthers will visit Hardaway today.
En route to also holding its eighth straight opponent to less than 40 points, Forest Park played very effective full-court and half-court defense, forcing Northside-Warner Robins into tough shots and a slew of turnovers. Wilson had seven steals and Potts made six.
“Here at Forest Park, we are going to live and die by the way we play defense,” head coach Steven Cole said. “If there is a night when we are not going to play defense we are not going to win because we don’t score that many points. We rely on defense heavily to be our offense.”
Following a decent start which led to a 12-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Panthers hit a wall offensively largely due to being unable to convert contested layups. Forest Park’s first points didn’t come to the 3:17 mark of the period when Tequilla Richardson buried a jumper from the wing.
“Sometimes when you get a lead you want to sit on it and not be aggressive,” Cole said. “I think we could have been a little more aggressive on offense. We were aggressive on defense but it just didn’t translate to any fast-break points.”
Fortunately, the Lady Panthers were still able to enter the locker room with an 18-13 lead.
In the third quarter, I’Mani’ Richards ignited and capped Forest Park’s decisive 8-0 run with a pair of baskets for a 13-point cushion. The Lady Panthers would extend their margin to as large as 15 points in the final period before the Lady Eagles pulled within single digits late.
In other girls’ action last weekend, Jonesboro defeated South Effingham 59-43 in the Class AAAA playoffs Friday. Michaelle Smith had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, and Kimberly Dawkins added 15 points, 16 boards, four steals and three blocks.
(The Lady Cardinals will host Howard today.)
However, the Cardinals fell short of their third straight Final Four appearance with a 76-69 setback to Statesboro on Saturday.