E.A. Sports Today

Lady Jackets strong, true

Senior post Smith has one of her best games as Oxford dominates on the inside at Cherokee County; slow start dooms Anniston

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

CENTRE – Jordan Smith might not have been Oxford’s leading scorer, but she may have played the biggest role of any player on the floor.

The senior post created all kinds of havoc for her hosts Saturday as the Lady Jackets slipped past Cherokee County 46-40 in a game that close from start to finish.

Smith made her presence felt early and often in the game. She scored eight points – six in the first quarter – grabbed nine rebounds and blocked one shot late in the game.

“I’ll tell you what, Jordan Smith might have had one of her best games all season,” Oxford coach Tonya Peoples said. “She moved her feet for us defensively. She was physical on the boards and taking some contact.

“Her offense comes and goes, but we’ve really been on her about her feet and her defense. I’m very pleased with her today.”

The Lady Jackets’ overall post play was huge factor in the outcome. Oxford outrebounded the Lady Warriors 32-24. Smith and Kelley combined for half of them with 10 coming on the offensive glass that led to 10 second-chance points. The Lady Jackets were 13 of 27 on shots in the paint.

Even Cherokee County coach Leah Nelson, a former teammate of Peoples at Alabama, said she thought her team was “a little overmatched.”

“I felt like I rebounded the ball good and I was strong with my moves and just going and getting the ball,” Smith said. “I have a tendency to just stand and not get down and move my feet and I’ve been getting onto a lot for that, so I’ve been trying to work on it.

“I felt like I was on my toes a lot more and was into the game more. It makes me feel like I’ve achieved something. It makes me feel good to have somebody tell you, hey, you did a great job tonight.”

Another element that was huge for the Lady Jackets was their free throw shooting. They were 21 of 26 in the game (compared to only 3 of 9 for Cherokee County). At one point they hit 18 in a row at one point and the one they missed to break the string Makayla Kidd followed with a layup to put Oxford on top 41-36 with 3:13 to play.

Ebony Kelley was 7-for-7 for the game. Winter Taylor was 8-for-10, 6-for-8 in the fourth quarter.

“Oh, wow, that could be the difference in the game,” Peoples said. “Lately we have been (good free throw shooters). We didn’t start out that way, but it’s made a difference for us. There’s no rhyme or reason to it; I guess as the season’s gone on we’ve gotten better. I’ll take it.”

The game was tied at 36 when Oxford (13-11) went on the run that secured it the game. It started with two Taylor free throws and was capped by Kidd’s putback.

Taylor led all scorers with 14 points; Kelley had 13. Cherokee County (11-11) didn’t have a scorer in double figures, but Emily Williams scored nine points and Kendal Perry had eight points with two first-quarter 3-pointers.

“I’m very proud of the way they played,” Nelson said. “For four quarters they did what I asked them to do, which was go hard the whole time. I felt like we did a good job of not letting the game get away from us as we have done against some of the better teams we have played. We stayed in the fight. We just battled.

“The last couple of games we’ve kind of played mad, in a good sense. I think they’re playing right now with something to prove.”

Selma 64, Anniston 54: The Lady Bulldogs got off to a slow start and spent the rest of the game trying to catch up. Raven Cooley and Miajah Bullock were their leading scorers with 19 and 17 points, respectively.


Oxford 46, Cherokee County 40

OXFORD – Anna Bolton 0-5 0-0 0, Makayla Kidd 1-6 3-4 5, Winter Taylor 3-9 8-10 14, Kayla Lowery 0-0 0-0 0, Acacia Kidd 0-0 0-0 0, Tremeria Britt 2-6 1-2 6, Ebony Kelley 3-8 7-7 13, Alex Gomez 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Smith 3-12 2-3 8, Grace Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-49 21-26 46.

CHEROKEE COUNTY – Meagan McGatha 0 0-0 0, Emily Ransom 3 0-1 6, Kendal Perry 3 0-1 8, Coley Battles 2 2-5 6, Emily Williams 4 0-0 9, Crimson Mahammon 2 1-2 5, Jensen Alexander 3 0-0 6. Totals 17-57 3-9 40.

Oxford 8 15 8 15 — 46
Cherokee County 10 10 12 8 — 40

3-point goals: Oxford 1-8 (Bolton 0-3, M. Kidd 0-2, Taylor 0-1, Britt 1-2); Cherokee County 3-18 (Perry 2, Williams). Total fouls: Oxford 14, Cherokee County 19. Officials: Dupree, Higdon, Graves.

Selma 64, Anniston 54

ANNISTON – Miajah Bullock 7 3-6 17, Raven Cooley 7 2-6 19, Carlina Welch 1 0-2 2, Davia Palmer 2 1-2 5, Keandra Finley 1 1-2 3, Amoriya Dudley 2 0-0 4, Carsheuna Curry 2 0-1 4, J’Kyra Clemons 0 0-0 0, Jemya Bullock 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-19 54.

SELMA – Jamya Smith 3 5-7 12, Tasharri Grimes 0 0-0 0, Kynadra Lewis 3 1-5 7, Jaquetta Daily 5 2-3 12, Charmekia Moore 1 2-5 4, Areyana Williams 13 3-4 29. Totals 25 13-24.

Anniston 6 16 19 13 — 54
Selma 12 16 19 17 — 64

3-point goals: Anniston 3 (Cooley 3); Selma 1 (Smith). Total fouls: Anniston 19, Selma 14.

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