No. 1 Lovejoy pulls away from North Augusta at Queens of the Hardwood Classic
By: Rob Grubbs — sportalspace contributorFollow @sportalspace
December 1, 2018 (Fayetteville, Ga) – No one can accuse Lovejoy Lady Wildcat Basketball coach Cedric King of taking the easy route when it comes to defending their state championship. Even though they play in the toughest region in Class 6-A, he has sought out other top programs in the nation for his ladies’ team to face this season. Such was the case Saturday when they played South Carolina state champion North Augusta Lady Yellow Jackets (3-0), who finished 26-1 last year, in the Queens of the Hardwood Classic. The Wildcats (6-2) started the third quarter with a 10-1 run that opened a close game on the way to a 67-49 win.
While Genesis Bryant and Anaya Boyd get most of the attention and publicity, the Lady Wildcats have two seniors, J’Auana Robinson and Avanna Preston who fit perfectly into Coach King’s system. Robinson would be the best player on most teams, she can rebound, run the floor and score. Her improvement from last season to now is what makes this year’s team different.
PG Preston quietly compliments the backcourt scoring skills of Bryant and can shoot from the outside or drive to the basket. Preston sank three 3-pointers in the third quarter when the Lady Wildcats took charge of the game.
The best indicator of how the Lady Wildcats are playing, as Coach King preaches, are the 50/50 balls, rebounds and loose balls that could go either way. When they lead in getting the 50/50, their offense takes care of the rest. This was on display in the second half as the Lady Wildcats slowly pulled away from North Augusta.
While pleased in their performance, King can always see room for improvement, “In the first half we have a lot of missed assignments and gave up a couple of threes. The way we play defense you have to constantly be talking and helping each other out. In the second half they got that together. Avanna Preston set the tone for us, when she got hot with the three, they found her and kept swinging the ball to her.”
Bryant lead all scorers with 25, while Preston added 20 for the Lady Wildcats and Robinson chipped in 10. Myra Burns and Kianna Lee both had 13 for the Lady Wildcats.
With the tough non-region conference schedule behind them, it’s time for them to play their county and region rival, the second ranked Forest Park Lady Panthers (7-0) this upcoming Saturday night. It is going to be one of the top ladies games of the season.