Nov. 21—VALDOSTA — From junior varsity to varsity, multiple teams came Monday to Lowndes High School to play in the Charles Cooper Thanksgiving Tournament. On the opening night of the two-day tournament, Lowndes High School's Vikettes and Vikings battled the Episcopal School of Jacksonville Eagles in the last two games of the night.
The Vikettes played a solid inside game, keeping a lead over the Eagles for most of the game, culminating in a win for the Vikettes with a score of 53-36. The Vikings played a competitive game against the Eagles, staying close in score going into the half. However, the Eagles' offense exploded going into the third period, ending the game 55-36.
The Vikettes took an early lead; Kimora Wade made a layup for the game's first points. The Eagles were held scoreless during the first minutes of the period, with their first points coming from a three-pointer from the Eagles' Hannah Battner. Lowndes' defense would not allow another basket for the Eagles, with their only other point in the period coming from a free throw.
The Lowndes offense, however, ran wild, especially Shamiaha Webb, who played aggressively on the inside the whole game. Contributing the most points in the contest, Webb put 15 points on the board, with 12 coming from the paint.
The first period ended 14-4 for the Vikettes, after which the Eagles would turn up their defense, with neither team scoring for the first two minutes.
The Eagles almost caught up with the Vikettes with two free throws from Zara Griffith and an impressive three-pointer from Bailey Harris. Both teams prioritized strong defense in the second period.
The score was 20-14 for the Vikettes going into halftime. Lowndes' offense took over in the second half of the game, with a strong performance from Kaci Demps—who scored 12 points overall. Demps scored 7 points in under a minute through two layups and a three-pointer.
Going into the fourth period, the Vikettes separated themselves from their opponents with continued pressure from the defense and solid inside performances. Wade would put up another six points, totaling her 11 points for the game. The game would end with the Vikettes winning 53-36.
The Vikettes retained their undefeated record, continuing to day two of the tournament with an overall record of 3-0.
The Vikings and Eagles played a competitive and physical game, with both teams defending the paint very well. The teams traded three-pointers for the first four minutes of the contest, starting with the Eagles' Will Moore. Lowndes' Ruben Compton quickly answered with his own, but the Eagles started to gain a lead through their fluid passing and offense.
The first period ended 15-10 with Lowndes trailing. The Eagles would burn time through intricate ball movement.
A steal from Grady Schwartz would lead to an explosive drive into the paint for a dunk by the Eagles. Lowndes' Kam Jackson would respond with a dunk of his own only 30 seconds later.
The Vikings would continue to lag behind the Eagles with a buzzer-beating three-pointer from the Eagles' Kent Jackson, making the score 28-21 going into the third period.
During the second half, the Eagles started to break down Lowndes' defense as Schwartz threw down three more powerful dunks. The Eagles had a stifling defense, with no points scored for a minute and a half.
Eventually, Lowndes could not control the Eagles' pressure in the paint and their shooting. The Eagles racked up a 15-point lead while the Vikings were held scoreless for nearly 5 minutes. The game would end 55-36 for the Eagles.
The Vikings drop to a record of 0-3 as they continued to play in the Charles Cooper Thanksgiving Tournament.