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Austin High's Jazmine Powers, center, drives past Decatur's Ashley Henderson, left, and Shannon Laughlin at Calhoun Community College on Friday night.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Austin High's Jazmine Powers, center, drives past Decatur's Ashley Henderson, left, and Shannon Laughlin at Calhoun Community College on Friday night.

SPLITTING THE CITY
Austin shares the ball, reaps victory

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

Austin High girls basketball coach Bruce Hamilton made it clear following a 62-33 victory over Decatur Friday — the win carried a team theme.

Playing before a packed house at Calhoun College's Carlton Kelley Gymnasium, Austin picked up its second victory against Decatur in as many meetings this year.

With eight different players grabbing at least three rebounds, the Lady Bears outrebounded Decatur 50-29.

Every Austin player played at least five minutes, and nine of the 10 Lady Black Bears scored at least a point.

"We had one player with five rebounds and five with four rebounds," Hamilton said. "We don't normally win the rebound battle because we're not a real big team. But there were some long rebounds that fell our way too that helped."

Hamilton also pointed out that Austin had 13 assists, with seven players recording at least one.

"It was obvious we did a good job of sharing the ball," Hamilton said. "This was a nothing less than a solid team effort. I can't stress 'team' enough because that's what it was."

Austin jumped out to a 14-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, with the Lady Bears taking a 38-11 cushion into the locker room at halftime.

"Our offense and defense came out early playing really hard and it set the tone for the game," Hamilton said. "I think our press hurt them, and it created some easy baskets for us."

Ardiana Wilkerson led Austin (11-11) in scoring with 15 points, with China McDaniel finishing with 11.

Ashley Witherspoon led Decatur (1-18) with 10 points. Shannon Laughlin pulled down four rebounds, and Whitney Fletcher had four steals.

"We did a lot better tonight than we've been doing," said Wilkerson, who connected on 3 of 5 from 3-point range.

She hit back-to-back treys with a little more than six minutes remaining in the second quarter.

"After making the first one, Jazmine Powers made a great pass to me that helped me get the second one so fast," Wilkerson said.

"I thought we did a good job on defense, also. We were getting back on defense like we're supposed to, and we did a good job of pressing the ball."

The Lady Raiders outscored Austin 10-9 in the third quarter, but it wasn't enough.

"We didn't do a very good job in the first half," said Decatur coach Brad Boy. "It would have been easy for our players to just quit at halftime, and they did not. I was proud of that. We came out and played a lot better in the second half.

"We talked about making some adjustments at halftime and that's what we did. We will look at the adjustments later which will give us something to work on."

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