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Lady Rebels set a trap and a tone in victory over rivals
Katie Durrence of South Effingham tries to drive on Effingham County guard Kyana Barber. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

Lady Mustangs score

Lady Mustangs score

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echs wr 2

Whitney Roberson launches it for 2

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Shaniqua Goldwire scores 2

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The Effingham County Lady Rebels wanted to force the issue right away with their crosscounty rivals.

Using their press and trap to great effect, the Lady Rebels opened a double-digit lead and never looked back in a 50-30 win over the South Effingham Lady Mustangs at The Corral on Tuesday.

“We wanted to set the tempo. We wanted to redeem ourselves for Saturday night,” Lady Rebels coach Nate Hayes said after his team shook off the loss to Groves. “I was proud of their effort.”

The Lady Rebels (3-1) scored the first eight points of the game in just 80 seconds, and guard Kyana Barber recorded three blocked shots in the first three minutes. They held the Lady Mustangs without a field goal until Ciara Knowles drained a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left in the first quarter.

That cut the gap to 16-8 after the Lady Mustangs (2-2) trailed by as much as 12 in the first quarter.

“After we calmed down, I didn’t feel (the press) gave us as much trouble,” South Effingham coach Stacey Womack said. “Then we were OK.”

The slow start for the Lady Mustangs is beginning to become a trend, and one Womack wants to end — soon.

“I’m hoping that will stop happening and we’ll be able to adjust from the beginning,” she said.

Barber and Marie Fogle keyed another spurt in the second quarter, stretching the lead to 27-12. But both players also were saddled with three fouls during the second period.

“Marie Fogle is the key to everything we do on defense,” Hayes said of his senior guard. “Once she got in foul trouble, it limited what we can do on defense. We got in foul trouble and had to back off.”

With Fogle on the bench, the Lady Rebels reeled back the press and the Lady  Mustangs took advantage.They scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, with Whitney Jones sinking a baseline jumper with 4:45 to play to slash the lead to 40-27.

“We still played hard and still played intense,” Womack said. “If we can keep that intensity, we’re going to get some wins down the road. I’m seeing some fight I didn’t see last year. We forced them to call timeout and make some adjustments.”

Said Hayes: “We knew they were never going to give up. We took the pressure off and they started coming back. I knew they were better and I knew they were going to fight us hard.”

Fogle fouled out with 3:04 to go, having scored seven points, but the trio of the 6-foot-1 Barber and Sierra and Shaniqua Goldwire, each also 6-1, proved too much inside for the Lady Mustangs, who scored no field goals off offensive rebounds.

“We limited them to one shot,” Hayes said. “When you have Sierra Goldwire, Shaniqua Goldwire and Kyana Barber, that’s a big wingspan down there.”

Skky Bean, the shortest of the Lady Rebels’ starters, had a game-high 13 points. Barber had nine and the Goldwires combined for 15 points. Jasmine Wallace added four points off the bench and Whitney Roberson scored two points.

Hayes considered what could have been for the Goldwires, who had a series of layups and putbacks attempts roll out in the final minutes.

“We ran our offense like we were supposed to. We got the looks,” he said. “I guarantee you we missed 12 points underneath.”

Jones led the Lady Mustangs with eight points, while Knowles and Katie Durrence each had seven points. Brittany Davis and Candice Kennedy each scored three points, and Iesha Reese had one point.

The Lady Mustangs have to get ready for their Region 3-AAA (A) opener with Richmond Hill at home on Friday night after Tuesday’s battle with their in-county rivals.

“In the lockerroom, I made them promise they were going to come out just as excited,” Womack said.

Hayes and his Lady Rebels travel to Brunswick to meet Glynn Academy in their Region 3-AAAA opener. Glynn beat Effingham three times last year.

“Glynn Academy is a thorn in our side,” he said.