Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 9, 2013

Straughn’s Brittany Driver (right) and Katelyn Kinsaul (left) struggle for the ball Friday night. Driver scored her 1,000th career point in the Lady Tigers’ 67-9 win over Excel in the area tournament semifinals. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn senior Brittany Driver scores 1,000th career point

Straughn’s Brittany Driver really never worried about career milestones Friday night.

Driver, just in her second year as a Lady Tiger, scored her 1,000th career point in her team’s 67-9 rout over Excel in the semifinals of the Class 3A, Area 2 tournament at SHS.

“I never thought it would happen,” the senior said. “I wasn’t really worried about it. I’m just thankful. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches.”

Going into the game, Straughn’s leading scorer had garnered 975 points. Driver led the Lady Tigers with 25 points.

More importantly, Driver said it was her faith in God that also helped her reach the 1K club in less than two seasons.

“All the glory goes to him,” she said. “He gave the talent and gave me people to work with me.

“It just goes to show you how awesome he is.”

Driver’s milestone was set late in the game on a free throw attempt and it wasn’t until the end of the game when she realized that she accomplished the feat.

“Some of my teammates were acting kind of strange,” she said. “So, I kind of figured it out.”

At the end of the game, SHS coach Scott Kinsaul announced Driver’s accomplishment and gave her the game ball, which all of her teammates signed afterward.

With this victory, the Lady Tigers move on to face Opp in the area tournament championship on Monday night and earn a berth in the sub regional.

The Lady Bobcats defeated Southside Selma 47-24 in the first game of the day.

Other than Driver, the Lady Tigers put together a team effort, distributing the ball around early and often.

SHS led 20-2 after the first period, which ended on a 3-pointer by Jacie Williamson.

Earlier in the first period, Driver got a steal and layup to complete a 10-0 run with more than five minutes to go.

The Lady Tigers (28-2) outscored Excel 28-4 in the second period.

“It was good to win,” Kinsaul said. “We came out and did what we were supposed to do. We played a real good first quarter — a good first half. We just kind of posted from there. It’s always good to win that first one in the area tournament.”

Driver found Williamson for an easy bucket and Paige Taylor got a layup later to put SHS ahead 56-6 in the third period.

The Lady Tigers led 61-6 later on with a Driver pass to Katelyn Kinsaul.

To end the third period, where the varsity squad finished playing for the night, Taylor Wood got a bucket to put Straughn up 65-9.

Williamson chipped in 21 points to pace SHS.

Opp 47, Southside Selma 24

Opp outscored Southside Selma 20-4 in the first half and rolled to the 23-point victory, which put the Lady Bobcats back in the area title game two years in a row.

Three Opp players — Laiken Free, Nisha Stoudemire and Saquaya Lane — finished in double figures in the win.

Free led OHS (19-3) with 18 points; Lane added 13 points; and Stoudemire chipped in 10 points.

Free and Stoudemire scored four points each in the first period as OHS led 12-2 going into the second.

Stoudemire got it going in the second period, scoring the Lady Bobcats’ first four points.

Lane later got a jumper and made a pass to Free to give OHS a 20-4 lead to end the first half.

OHS started the third period on a 9-0 run. It was 36-8 going into the fourth period.

However, SSHS won the fourth period 16-11.

Ki’Onna Likely and Ashley Cunningham had six points each for SSHS.

“When they have fun and enjoy the game, they play to the best of their ability,” Opp coach SaRhonda Dickerson said. “They’re more relaxed. Tonight we had to win. We had a fight with destiny.

“We’re really looking forward to having another opportunity to play against Straughn,” she said.

Tip off Monday night is at 5:30 at SHS.