Laney sweeps Josey in rivalry doubleheader

After losing a 20-point lead and faced with a rocking Josey gymnasium, Laney dug deep and found its winning roots.

 

Josey fought back from down 20 at the break to take a late lead, but the Laney girls withstood the dramatic rally to top the Lady Eagles 67-60 on Saturday.

“They’re winners,” Laney coach Otis Smart said. “They got in a tight spot and they did a good job of fighting through it, and they came through in the end.”

The second page of the rivalry this season was even more thrilling the first, which came Dec. 23 in the Holiday Round Ball Classic and was also a game of momentum swings. Laney rallied from a large deficit to beat Josey 70-57.

This time, Laney threw the first punch by running to a 45-25 halftime advantage, sparked by a 25-12 second quarter, and Josey was the one to stage the comeback.

The charge began with a 19-8 third quarter, including runs of 8-0 and 17-5. By the end of the quarter, Laney’s lead was down to 53-44.

Josey’s Rhykeria Rolland, who scored the team’s first 13 points of the game, hit a 3-pointer with seven minutes left to get within six, and Ebony Clark got the Lady Eagles within three on two consecutive field goals to trail 54-51 with 4:42 left.

With the gym at its loudest point all night, Tykedra Rolland made a layup at 3:20 that put Josey ahead 55-54 and completed an 11-1 run.

Laney immediately responded by scoring the next 11 points with a combination of fast-break offense and stifling defense. Rhykeria Rolland made a 3 with 17 seconds left to get within five, but the Lady Wildcats made the necessary free throws in the final minute to preserve the lead.

Jhessyka Williams paced Laney (16-0, 6-0 Region 4-AA) with a game-high 30 points, including 24 in the first half. De’Sha Benjamin scored 22 as Laney won its 46th game in a row dating to the beginning of last season.

Rhykeria Rolland led Josey (16-2, 6-1) with 25 points, while Clark and Tykedra Rolland each added 14. The Lady Eagles’ two losses this season have been to the defending state champions.

In the boys game, Laney outscored Josey by eight in the second quarter and pulled away late to win 55-44.

The Wildcats received contributions from 11 players, led by D’Juan Griffin’s 11 points. Ronnie Walker added 10. The Eagles got 17 points from Recardez Williams.

^

Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216

or david.lee@augustachronicle.com.

Girls Basketball

LANEY 67, JOSEY 60

LANEY (67) – Jhessyka Williams 30, Taya Newsome 3, Jaiden Hamilton 7, Nekiyah Booker 3, De’Sha Benjamin 22, Camille Smith 2. Totals: 25 16-27 67.

JOSEY (60) – Rondaijah Wynn 3, Moesha Mells 4, Ebony Clark 14, Rhykeria Rolland 25, Tykedra Rolland 14. Totals: 21 11-13 60.

Laney;20;25;8;14;-;67

Josey;13;12;19;16;-;60

3-point goals: Laney 3 (Benjamin 3), Josey 7 (R. Rolland 5, T. Rolland 2).

Records: Laney 16-0, 6-0 Region 4-AA, Josey 16-2, 5-1. Next: Johnson vs. Laney, 3 p.m., Monday at Evans High School. Josey at Harlem, 5 p.m., Tuesday.

Boys Basketball

LANEY 55, JOSEY 44

LANEY (55) – Jordan Stringer 2, Ronnie Walker 10, D’Juan Griffin 11, Donald Henley 2, Tony Sanford 7, Dykese King 2, Jarvis Washington 2, Jamontae Anthony 2, Nigel Carter 4, Donovan Jackson 4, Jakel Gilliam 9. Totals: 22 8-17 55.

JOSEY (44) – Joshua Kelly 6, Recardez Williams 17, Dakale Fluellen 2, Rodriguez Dagget 3, Trayveyon Perry 2, Zabriel Boozer 2, Lawrence Stephens 12. Totals: 16 11-17 44.

Laney;12;18;9;16;-;55

Josey;12;10;12;10;-;44

3-point goals: Laney 3 (Sanford 2, Griffin), Josey 1 (Williams).

Records: Laney 13-3, 5-1 Region 4-AA, Josey 4-14, 1-6. Next: Midland Valley vs. Laney, 6 p.m., Monday at Evans High School. Josey at Harlem, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday.

 

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