Lady Bees too much for Cameron

Last year, Little River Academy’s girls basketball team won 20-3A and represented region III at the state tournament.  The Lady Bees showed why they are still one of the state’s best in Tuesday's 72-33 district opening win over Cameron.  


The Lady Yoe fall to 5-9 overall and 0-1 in district play with the loss.  


Academy's (12-3/1-0) full-court press gave Cameron fits throughout the first.  The Lady Bees forced a total of 10 turnovers in the period and held a commanding 29-6 lead after one. 


"We talked about trying to do that and we got on them early using our press in addition to our transition game," said Academy head coach Brian Pursche.  


The press was something that Lady Yoe coach Corey Cunningham and his team were not expecting to see. 


"That press made all the difference.  We hadn't seem that from them in all of our scouting.  They jumped on us and we didn't handle it very well with turnover after turnover.  We fell into a hole that we couldn't dig ourselves out of."


Cameron guard NaQuiria Gibbons provided an offensive spark in the second with back-to-back runners in the lane, but it was Academy that held the 40-14 advantage at the half.  


Academy guard Kamryn Mraz had an all-around complete performance and led the Bees with 26 points.  Guard Kenidi White also had 16 as the pair combined for 58 percent of Academy's production. 


"That is what we expect from those two," said Pursche.  "Those two are going to carry us in points and leadership on the floor."


Though not the result Cameron was looking for, there were bright spots.  Gibbons scored all of her 11 points in the second and third quarter's while Marly Spink and Terryn Adams both hit three-point shots in the fourth.  Cunningham said continued effort despite the score is important for his team.  


"We stress to our girls in each game and each quarter to go out and win this quarter.  Whatever it was.  We want to be in the conversation for the playoffs and they showed me a lot.  They showed me that they're not going to back down and they're going to keep fighting."


Cameron was aggressive on the boards, finishing with 11 offensive rebounds.  Za'Kara Bryson and Spink both totaled four while Adams came in with two.  


Elsewhere in 20-3A, Rogers picked up a win over Rockdale, 52-29, Jarrell overwhelmed Lexington, 79-42, and Franklin knocked off Hearne. 


20-3A has a knack for sending teams to state, and as of this moment Academy, Franklin and Jarrell are all ranked inside of the top 15 in the latest polls.  


"This district, year in and year out, is one of the best districts in our region," said Pursche.  "I think the last four years one of the teams in our district has made it to the state tournament.  We've had district teams play each other in the playoffs and beat each other out.  So, it's always been a strong district and there are no lightweights."


Cunningham concurred and knows it will take a solid effort to get to the next level.  "We have a lot of respect for the quality of teams in our district and understand that we will need to bring our best effort every game in order to fight for a playoff spot."


Cameron will host Jarrell on Friday before traveling to Hearne on Tuesday.