Setting the stage

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2012

Opp’s Lady Bobcats have a game ball that is given to the player who had the best performance on the hardwood.

The best player gets to sign her name on the basketball.

OHS senior Nisha Stoudemire got to sign the ball again Thursday night after scoring a career-high 35 points in the Lady Bobcats’ 57-19 slashing over Andalusia in the preliminary game of the Bulldogs’ Invitational Tournament.

Stoudemire said practice helped her conquer the scoring feat.

“Hard practices. Running every day. Staying after and shooting,” she said. “(OHS) Coach (SaRhonda) (Dickerson) pushing us and transition.”

Opp led 29-9 at halftime and outscored Andalusia 13-10 in the third period and 5-0 in the fourth after the new mercy rule was enforced.

“I’m just very proud of my ladies,” Dickerson said. “Nisha came out and she got her career-high 35 points. Transition really won this game.”

Dickerson said the team has been practicing the passing from one end of the court to the other drill a lot.

“We’re preparing for Birmingham, not our regular schedule at all,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team. They’re great girls.”

Asia Edwards paced the Lady Bobcats with eight points, and Laiken Free had six points.

Kanisha Johnson led Andalusia with eight points.

“We’re doing a little bit better about taking care of the ball,” AHS coach Teresa Herring said. “Not the best effort I wanted them to give, but they’re getting better with the techniques.

“(Dickerson’s) got some great athletes,” she said.

With this win, the Lady Bobcats improve to 3-0 on the season and 2-0 over the Lady Bulldogs.

“We hear a lot of teams saying what they were going to do to us,” Stoudemire said. “It was our chance to prove what we can do.”

In boys tournament action, Opp fell 63-20 to Elba.

Mandarious Mount led the Bobcats (0-3) with seven points. Chris Weeks added six points.

Andalusia’s boys will face Elba at 7:30 tonight to continue tournament action.

The Lady Bobcats are back in action on Tuesday at Elba. Andalusia will host Georgiana.