Daphne’s Lady Trojans battled down to the final seconds, but could not catch the Leopards who took a 55-38 playoff win at Daphne Monday night. The loss was the first in a while for the 2016-17 Trojans who had won their last 23 games in a row.
DAPHNE, Ala. — Daphne’s Lady Trojans battled down to the final seconds, but could not catch the Leopards who took a 55-38 playoff win at Daphne Monday night. The loss was the first in a while for the 2016-17 Trojans who had won their last 23 games in a row. Daphne’s 25-5, Class 6A Area 2 championship, season ended one win shy of advancing to the South Regional tournament. Blount broke away from a 13-9 lead in the second quarter for a 31-20 margin at the half.
Second-year Daphne head coach Mason Dunn said he was proud of this team that went from an 11-20 record last season to a 25-5 finish and a top-10 state ranking in 2016-17.
“We’re all disappointed of course, but I told them that we don’t let one game define us,” he said. “And I’m not only proud of the way they played this season as athletes, but just as proud to see how they have also grown and succeeded as students and leaders in the school.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our two seniors Jennifer Darby and Krysta Wright for the way they have stuck in there with all the changes the last couple of years. We couldn’t have had the success we had without them. But also, the addition of some new girls to the program and everybody willing to expand their roles. That made a big difference. They have all been a pleasure to coach every single day. We’re excited about the future.”
He added that having both head volleyball coach Monique Adams Williams and assistant coach Lauren Walker on his bench was invaluable to the team on and off the court. Adams played basketball and volleyball at LSU, Walker played basketball at South Alabama.
“They were a real blessing,” he said. “Helping to keep these girls motivated and just bonding with them all season. And having two female coaches was huge to me. They are great role models and can relate to the girls in a way I cannot.
“But most of all,” he added. “I think the girls have represented their school so well and shown that the culture of high expectations is expected here at Daphne. So proud.”
Breanna Harris, Yvette Jackson and Jajuana Lambert led the Leopards with 15 points each. The Trojans were led in scoring by Kennedy Cronan with 11 points and Makenna Pierce with eight. Wright and Darby were held to single digits.
Dunn said Blount coach Janel Williams has a strong team and should do well at regionals.
“They came in with a really good game plan and her girls executed it well. Especially (Lambert) and (Harris). They were in position for almost every possible rebound it seemed like. So we wish them well.”
Blount (18-4) went 12-of-17 on free throws while Daphne only got eight trips to the line and made just three.
Williams said part of her strategy was for her players to play as if they were down by 10-points from the start.
"In order to get our players to come out with a lot of intensity, we came out with the mindset that we were down 10 points already,” she said. “We stuck with our game plan and pounded the ball inside. This was the most complete game we have played in a while."
Blount tips off at 9 a.m. Friday in Dothan.
In other CLASS 6A Girls sub-regional play:
LeFlore 56, Spanish Fort 41:
MOBILE: The Toros came up short against the Area 1 champion Rattlers at LeFlore High. But Spanish Fort did lead at the half 26-23.
Aisha Jenkins led the defending Class 6A champions in their second-half rally with a game-high 22 points. Daisha Bradford added 20 points and Savannah Freeman 13. The Toros were led by Mya Barnes who finished with 16 points. LeFlore is set to play Friday at noon in Dothan.
In CLASS 3A Girls South sub-regional play, Hillcrest-Evergreen stopped visiting Bayside Academy’s post-season with a 64-34 win.
Visit: AHSAA.com//Sports/Basketball for more on the state playoffs.