From the long-range bricks to the inside misses, they were there.
With seemingly every missed shot – sometimes even their own – Laney’s Khadijiah Cave and Simone Smith powered their way to get rebounds and low-post points.
The two players controlled the paint Tuesday night, combining for 46 points as Laney beat Hephzibah 76-52 in 100 Black Women of Augusta Tournament at Glenn Hills High School.
Cave and Smith were unstoppable most of the game, especially inside. They also showed off ball-handling skills when needed. Cave led a fastbreak down the court and finished with a layup.
“It’s a lot of fun. I like it. I’m used to it now.” Cave said of running the floor.
Smith did most of the early scoring, posting 12 of her 19 points in the first quarter. Aggressive around the glass, Smith had 11 of the Lady Wildcats’ first 13 points.
Smith’s strong play gave Laney (2-0) a double-digit lead after one quarter, and it was never threatened as Cave posted 18 of her game-high 27 points in the second half.
Hephzibah’s Shashanna Miller tried to spark her team with 3-point shooting, but Laney’s pressure and inside strength were too much. Still, the guard made six 3s en route to 26 points.
Miller led an 11-0 run that helped Hephzibah (0-2) close the gap to 51-38, but the
Lady Rebels never got any closer.
Too often, the pressure that allowed Hephzibah’s Shannon Wimberly and her teammates to complete steals with points was matched by Laney’s own pressure, which itself led to layups.
After a stretch of turnovers and baskets for both sides, Laney’s post game stood tall and pushed the edge safely into the 20s.
“We played tough teams early, so we hope that helps us down the stretch,” said Hephzibah coach Wendell Lofton, whose team opened its season on Monday against Class AAAAA’s Osborne.