CONCORD -- The Jay M. Robinson girls basketball team played strong defense on Tuesday night, causing havoc with its full court press, in its 66-54 home win over the Mount Pleasant.
It’s the first win of the season for Jay M. Robinson, now at 1-1, and it’s the first win for former WNBA player, now-Bulldogs head coach Alexis Hornbuckle. She credited her players’ tenacious defense for the win.
“I think they came out a little more focused today and more focused on defense,” Hornbuckle said. ”They played well together, and they played hard.”
The Bulldogs finished with 20 steals on the night, but things didn’t really click for them until the second quarter. Down 18-13, they went on a 16-5 run that consisted mostly of steals and fastbreak points.
Keyona Farris, who led the team with 21 points and six steals, had three steals during the run. Mount Pleasant struggled to get across halfcourt and at one point committed seven turnovers in nine possessions.
“(I told them), ‘Keep your feet, move your feet, stay in front of them and go for steals,’” said Hornbuckle. “They were a little hesitant at first. I gave them the OK, and then it was like the light went off.”
In the third quarter, Farris didn’t slow down. She had back-to-back steals and easy layups, extending a 29-23 halftime lead to 36-27.
“I was getting tired,” Farris said about her defense. “But I knew that I had to keep pushing myself and not show weakness.”
Several of her teammates helped her in the steals department as well.
The Tigers cut the deficit back to single digits, as close as five points after Sabria West and Emma Fisher combined for seven points in a 7-2 run. But Robinson scored the last six points of the quarter to go into the fourth quarter up by 11 points, 48-39.
In the fourth quarter, Mount Pleasant couldn’t get any closer than nine points, and Jay M. Robinson cruised to victory to give the Tigers (1-1) their first loss of the season.
Mount Pleasant coach Craig Keane said that despite practicing for the press before the game, the Tigers’ execution for the game failed them.
“We just weren’t executing our breaks, our press break, like we do in practice,” Keane said. “We’ve got to learn to overcome that. We have to do the things we do in practice and take it to the court.”
Mount Pleasant 15 8 16 15 -- 54
Jay M. Robinson 10 19 19 18 -- 66
MOUNT PLEASANT-- Sabria West 17, Fisher 9, Ballard 8, Blackwell 6, Kluttz 5, Harwood 4, Mitchell 3, Blake 1
Jay M. Robinson – Keyona Farris 21, Nasya Walker 16, Alaya Finley 14, Cox 6, Burgess 6, Pharr 2, Morales 2