Lady Barons' season-opening streak snapped in tourney final
After extending its season-opening winning streak to five on Friday, the Brewton-Parker College women's basketball team met defeat for the first time Saturday in the championship game of the Heritage Bank Tip-Off Tournament at Clayton College and State University in Morrow.
The Lady Barons advanced to the final against the host Lakers by holding off Spring Hill College (Ala.) for a 61-58 win Friday night but took it on the chin in the second half Saturday before falling to Clayton State 82-58 in the championship game.
Earlier in the week, the Lady Barons defeated Allen University 61-43 on Nov. 19 in Columbia, S.C., in a rematch of a Nov. 11 game in which Brewton-Parker won 95-44.
Brewton-Parker freshman guard Ashley Little grabbed Spring Hill's missed 3-point attempt that would have sent Friday's game into overtime.
Senior forward Tameka Oliver, who earned all-tournament honors, led the Lady Barons with 14 points and senior guard Takara Solomon added 11 points for BPC.
"Ashley Little came up with a big defensive rebound at the end, and Tameka Oliver and 'TK' (Solomon) both played really well," said Lady Barons coach Tommy Dalley, whose team led 30-25 at halftime.
Solomon, after taking a streak of 23 consecutive free throws into the game, missed her first free shot of the year on the front end of a pair of technical foul shots.
Also, junior guard Toya Rogers added nine points and senior guard Lucinda Lessington had eight points and a team-high five assists.
Spring Hill forward LaToya Baker had a game-high 18 points and Amy Young added 16 (hitting 4 of 5 3-point shots) in defeat for the Lady Badgers.
"Spring Hill is a solid team with strong post play and guards who could shoot the ball well," Dalley said.
Brewton-Parker (5-1) led Saturday's finale 31-30 at halftime before Clayton State (2-0) took off in the second half.
"We didn't shoot well, and that happens," said Dalley, whose team was 9-for-18 in the first half but hit just 28.6 percent after halftime.
Clayton State shot 30 percentage points better than the Lady Barons in the second half on its way to making 50.9 percent for the game.
Junior center Catreia Shaw led four Lakers in double figures, and two with double-doubles, by scoring 30 points with 15 rebounds in scoring Most Valuable Player honors.
Little had a team-high 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting (3-for-7 treys), while Oliver hit all eight of her free throws in scoring 13 points. Lessington had team highs of seven rebounds and six assists.
Solomon hit all four of her free throws to give her 28-for-29 for the season.
"We made a lot of mistakes, but hopefully we can rebound from it and get ready to play Friday," Dalley said.
The Lady Barons (5-1) will play in the ALLTEL Classic on Friday and Saturday at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega. Brewton-Parker plays Cumberland College (Ky.) on Friday at 6 p.m. and Morris College (S.C.) on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Adversity proved the prevailing theme for the Lady Barons' Nov. 19 visit to Allen, and Brewton-Parker won the game by doing a better job of overcoming more obstacles.
"It was a hostile environment and our timing was off, but we'll take it any day," said Dalley, whose team overcame 30.6 percent shooting, a 45-36 rebound disadvantage and 20 turnovers with free-throw success (16-for-21, 76.2 percent) and 19 assists.
Lessington had nine of the Lady Barons' scoring passes, while Oliver tallied game highs of 15 points (despite 5-for-19 shooting) and 14 rebounds.
Rogers followed with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Takara Solomon added 12 points (including 6-for-6 on free throws) and eight more rebounds.
Laroya McMullen led Allen with 11 points.
The Lady Barons' next home game is Tuesday, Dec. 3, in a 6 p.m. contest against Voorhees College (S.C.), and they will travel to Sumter, S.C., on Dec. 5 to play Morris in a 6 p.m. game.