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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2006
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Austin advances in consolation

By Ashley Hargrove
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

Austin High's girls basketball team overcame some early frustration to beat Brainerd (Tenn.) 58-44 in a Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic Classic consolation game Thursday.

"We didn't do a good job of attacking their wide 1-3-1 zone during the first quarter," Austin head coach Bruce Hamilton said. "It's something we haven't seen before. We got frustrated, and it created cheap baskets for them."

As the tournament continues at Decatur High, Austin (10-7) will play again today at 1:30 p.m. against Clay-Chalkville, which beat Tanner 75-32 on Thursday.

"Clay-Chalkville is a very disciplined team," said Hamilton, who missed Wednesday's action because of a stomach virus.

“It’s not going to be an easy task. We’re going to have to play well if we want to win,” Hamilton added.

In the opening quarter, the Lady Black Bears made three turnovers in a row to help Brainerd to a 13-10 lead.

However, Austin rallied, and China McDaniel’s layup gave the Lady Black Bears a 14-13 lead with 6:27 left in the second quarter. Brainerd’s Jessica Jones sank two free throws to put the Lady Panthers back up by one.

That’s when the Lady Black Bears took control. McDaniel sank a 3-pointer for a 17-15 lead, and her basket started a 10-point run.

Austin built its lead to 35-24 going into halftime.

“We’re a young team,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got a lot of maturing to do.

“If we keep playing hard, our execution will come.”

The Lady Black Bears continued to keep control throughout the rest of the game. They led 49-34 going into the fourth quarter and were outscored 10-9 in the final period, but had the game locked up by then.

Nikkia Jordan had a team-high 19 points, five rebounds and three steals for Austin, and McDaniel added 11 points.

Jazmine Powers contributed eight points, eight rebounds and a pair of assists.

Jones led Brainerd (9-6) with 18 points and nine rebounds. Antornetta Ivey followed with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

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