Two talented post players are gone, but Laney’s pressure remains.
The Lady Wildcats’ well-known defensive intensity stole Aiken passes and the win in a 60-20 victory Monday at Glenn Hills in the 100 Black Women of Augusta Tip-Off Classic. Wynetta Wright matched Aiken’s output by herself with her 20 points.
“We’re doing pretty good,” Lady Wildcats coach Otis Smart said. “We got to get better though.”
Despite losing Khadijiah Cave and Simone Smith, the Laney girls basketball team has started the season by beating both Evans and Aiken behind good guard pressure from returners Gemiya Bowman, Destiny Brewton and Aliyah Collier. Wright has stepped in to give strength in the post.
Early on, the problem for Aiken wasn’t poor shooting, but rather the lack of shots due to turnovers before the Lady Hornets crossed midcourt. At the same time, when the Lady Hornets did get close to shoot, Collier or Wright would block shots or get rebounds.
Wright was also the go-to scorer for Laney, scoring 13 points in the first half to tie Aiken’s total when it was 31-13.
Good ball movement sometimes left Wright wide open for easy buckets, but she also had a soft touch on shots as Aiken had no answer for her near the hoop.
Bowman added 11 points and Collier scored nine for the Lady Wildcats, who didn’t allow a single Aiken player to score more than four points.
It got even more lopsided in the second half, with Aiken making only three field goals in the last two quarters. Plagued by tentative shooting and the usual pesky Laney defense, the Lady Hornets saw the deficit swell right to the end, as the Lady Wildcats closed on a 12-0 run.
Ten players scored for Laney in the rout.
“They’re going to be good,” Smart said. “I’m pleased with them.”