Lady Lions pick up pace in second half to defeat Shepherd

BY LINDA JACOBS, Enterprise staff
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LIVINGSTON—Livingston distanced themselves from a one point game at the break by outscoring the visiting Shepherd Lady Pirates 28-20 in the second half to secure a 47-38 win Friday night at Lion gym.

Both teams were held to under 20 points in the first half as Livingston maintained a slim 19-18 advantage after two quarters.

D’Asia Ivory grabs a rebound in action against the Shepherd Lady Pirates. Ivory posted a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 47-38 Lion victory.  (Staff photo by Linda Jacobs)D’Asia Ivory grabs a rebound in action against the Shepherd Lady Pirates. Ivory posted a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 47-38 Lion victory. (Staff photo by Linda Jacobs)D'Asia Ivory, who led the Lady Lions with 16 points and 10 rebounds, pitched in eight of her game high points in the third and teammate Jhonrekia Ramsey-Dunn, who was runner up with 11 points, followed suit and scored five in the third and added two treys in the fourth to pace the Lions to their seventh win of the season.

"I thought we played okay," commented Lady Lion head coach Dan Baird. "I don't think we played great, we did just well enough to win."

The victory evened the Lady Lions record to 7-7 for the year. They are just two wins shy of surpassing their entire win total (nine) from a year ago. "That's the good news, and we still have 13 district games and four tournament games to go," said Baird, who added that his team has made improvements from a year ago.

"We do a lot of things better this year, like pushing the ball and our man to man defense is better."
The Lady Lions hustled on defense and picked up seven steals against the Lady Pirates and also out rebounded Shepherd by a 43-42 margin.

Aiding the team on offense was Takira Taylor who pitched in nine points plus had four rebounds and three steals. Shy'Teria Harrell and Jasmine Randolph scored four points apiece. Randolph also grabbed eight rebounds and tossed out a game high three assists. Shykia Phillips added two points and hauled down eight rebounds and had one blocked shot for the Lions. Nykiah Youngblood rounded out the scorecard with one free throw and one rebound.

A solid third quarter gave the Lady Lions the edge against the Pirates. Jasmine Randolph broke a 19-19 tie by scoring on a putback at the 6:45 mark for a 21-19 lead. Livingston never trailed again as Randolph's basket started a 7-0 run which would extend their lead to 26-19 with 5:46 left.

Livingston's largest lead in the third (12 points) came following a Phillips rebound and toss to speedy Jhonrekia Ramsey-Dunn who went the full court for a layup to make it 33-21 with 3:42 left in the third. Dunn would add one more layup and Ivory scored on a putback as the Lions went up by 11 (36-25) with 1:57 left.

Unfortunately, the Pirates cut the lead to six by the end of the frame, 36-30.

Livingston started the fourth with a 7-0 run, courtesy of one free throw by Ivory and back-to-back treys from Ramsey-Dunn which built Livingston's lead to 43-30 at the 5:31 mark.

A Takira Taylor layup put the Lions up again by 13 points (45-32) with 4:35 left. Shepherd cut the lead to seven (45-38) with 3:21 left by scoring six unanswered points. The 6-0 run was their final hoorah, however, as Livingston managed the final basket of the game when Ivory drove the baseline for a basket at the 3:10 mark, 47-38.

Tournament action
The freshman and JV Lady Lions played a pair of tournament games earlier on Friday. The freshman lost to Dickinson 44-19 and the JV's were nipped 34-29 by Aggieland Academy.

Top freshman scorers were, Ayramee Cooper, 14; Ryan Richards and Taylor Evans, two points each; and Kierra Jackson, one free throw.

Top JV scorers were, De'Breonia Cooper and Briana Hutchinson, 10 apiece; Wendi Allen, four; NyKeria O'Guin, three; and Amya Handy, two points.

District 18-5A action
All three teams will travel to Caney Creek Tuesday to battle the Lady Panthers in District 18-5A action.