Akron blasted by Lady Demons

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On the Akron Lady Rams’ first possession in their 1A Regional semifinal against play McIntosh, an open layup hit the rim and bounced away. It was pretty much downhill from there.

The No. 5 Lady Demons’ speed and pressure defense were too much for Hale County’s Area 8 runners-up, as Akron fell behind 20-4 at the end of first quarter and were eliminated by a score of 74-30.

“We didn’t play our best today,” said Akron head coach Ann Turner, who said several of her players were dealing with illness. “We expected to be kind of nervous, but we did not expect (McIntosh) to be as aggressive as they were.”

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Solid Akron defense and poor shooting by both teams kept the score close at the outset. Junior guard Shakina Dussett scored the Lady Rams’ first basket with 4:37 to play in the first quarter, making the score 4-2.

But it was all McIntosh from there. The Lady Demons’ swarming defense forced a number of Akron turnovers and let to plenty of fast break points. Two Breuna Bester free throws were the only offense the Lady Rams would muster the remainder of the period, and the 16-point McIntosh lead at the end of the first grew to 42-8 before Dussett’s second basket with 2:56 in the half stopped a long Lady Demon run.

McIntosh went on to lead 47-13 at the half, 62-18 at the end of three quarters, and by 44 at the buzzer as both teams cleared their benches. The Lady Demons forced 32 Akron turnovers.

Despite the loss, Turner was more than proud of how her team performed this season. The Lady Rams earned their trip to Mobile last Thursday with a two-point win on the road over Area 2 champion Linden.

“Most of our girls, this is the first year they’ve played,” Turner said. “They’ve improved so much since the beginning of the season. They’ve played wonderful this year. We just didn’t play the way we wanted to today.”

Dussett led the way for the Lady Rams with 14 points. Bester joined her in double figures with 12, followed by Celvondria Fadds with 2 and Tiffany Sanders and Danielle Willis with 1 point each. Sanders led the way for Akron on the boards with 6 rebounds while Fadds had 4 steals.

Alexis Broussard finished with a game-high 24 points to lead McIntosh, who will face XXXXXXX in Friday’s Regional final at 9 a.m.