Stafford’s 40 lifts Lady Bulldogs over PHS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pleasant Home’s Ashley Williamson (33) drives down the court as Geneva County’s Lacy Stafford (23) guards Saturday night.                  Andrew Garner/Star-News

Pleasant Home’s Ashley Williamson (33) drives down the court as Geneva County’s Lacy Stafford (23) guards Saturday night. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

HARTFORD — Lacy Stafford’s 40 points led Geneva County to a 64-47 victory over Pleasant Home in the Class 1A, Area 2 girls championship Saturday night.

The victory gave the Lady Bulldogs their second area championship in a row.

Geneva County will host McKenzie in the sub regional on Thursday, while the Lady Eagles travel to face Brantley.

“We kind of spotted them about 20 points, and we just couldn’t ever get it back,” PHS coach Kelley Garner said about the loss. “We played hard — gave a lot of effort. We just came up short (Saturday night).”

The game was neck and neck from the start, until Stafford took over with a banked 3-pointer to give GCHS an 8-6 lead the Lady Bulldogs would never relinquish.

Pleasant Home trailed 12-8 after the first period.

PHS cut the lead to 15-10 after a nice pass from Jade Self to Ashley Williamson on the inside.

The Lady Eagles had to take a timeout with 5:57 left in the first half after too many turnovers.

Stafford was later fouled behind the perimeter and made her free throws to put the Lady Dawgs ahead 22-14 with 3:40 left until the break.

Pleasant Home’s Raven Woods missed the back-end of a pair of free throws, but Stafford got the rebound and drove the lane to give the GCHS a healthy 28-17 lead with 1:12 to go.

Geneva County guard Jasmine Smith, who was everywhere on the court for the winning team, then got a steal and layup on the offensive end to put the Lady Bulldogs up 30-17.

“We didn’t help ourselves,” Garner said. “That (play) kind of took the wind out of our sails. We got behind and dug ourselves a hole and couldn’t get out.”

The Lady Eagles (14-11) trailed 31-19 at the break. In the first half, Stafford had already scored 15 of her 40 points.

Pleasant Home came out refreshed and pressed the Lady Bulldogs up and down the court to start the second half.

Self got the scoring going for PHS with a 3-pointer; and Woods later found Williamson down low for an easy bucket to put the game at 35-24.

Williamson got a 3-ball and Self managed a trey with less than 10 seconds left in the third period to cut the lead to 45-35.

During the third period, Stafford was on her game, scoring 12 points, despite her team being outscored 16-14.

In the fourth period, Stafford made a 3-ball play to put the game way out of reach for Pleasant Home.

To make the game even worse for the visiting Lady Eagles, the star freshman made a transition pass, got the rebound after the missed shot on the offensive end and then made a 3-ball play with 3:54 left in the game to put GCHS up 57-41.

Late in the contest, things didn’t get much more pretty for the Lady Eagles.

Two technical fouls were called — one on Taylor Godwin after being charged with a personal foul, and the other on the PHS coach for arguing possession of the ball after a timeout was called by GCHS.

Garner said the second half wasn’t the best for her team.

“We had a lot of frustration on the floor with the way things were going,” she said. “We let that get to our minds. We just couldn’t quite overcome it. We’ll regroup and work and prepare for Brantley Thursday night.”

Williamson led PHS with 25 points. Woods had eight points and five rebounds.

Smith chipped in 12 points to pace GCHS. Stafford was 17-of-23 from the free-throw line.