’Dogs wilt from heat of Devils

’Dogs wilt from heat of Devils
’Dogs wilt from heat of Devils | ’Dogs wilt from heat of Devils
By RANDY CAVIN
Special to The Messenger
The South Fulton girls’ win over Gleason was a case of scoring easy points off of turnovers in the early going.
For the boys, it was even easier as the Red Devils practically had the game won in the first period of play using an aggressive defense against a young Gleason team.
The Devilettes forced seven turnovers in the first period alone in their 59-42 win over the Lady Bulldogs at South Fulton, while the Devils used an aggressive defense and caused the Bulldogs to make bad passing decisions in a 64-22 blowout Tuesday night at the SF gym.
The Devilettes are now 3-2 on the season and the Red Devils improve to 3-1. The sweep drops the Lady Bulldogs 1-3 and the Bulldogs to 0-4.
S.F. 59, Gleason 42 (G)
Laken Haley scored six of SF’s first eight points of the game on the way to a game-high 19, thanks to a pressure defense that caused seven turnovers in the first period. The Devilettes used a series of traps to make Gleason turn the ball over.
“With a team like Gleason, you have got to get them to turn the ball over somehow. If you don’t they are going to control the offensive end. So we tried to figure a way to keep them from controlling the offensive end a little bit,” SF head coach Curt Lee said. “We got a few turnovers there in the first half and turned them into points.”
By the 2:35 mark in the first period, the Devilettes had a 10-4 lead, but their pressure defense and up-tempo style of play also got the team into some early foul trouble with six team fouls in the opening period.
Freshman forward Taleeah Cross found herself with two quick fouls in the first period.
Gleason’s Kim Quick got the Lady Bulldogs to within six after two baskets, but Kalon Martin answered with two baskets of her own to give SF a 16-8 first period lead.
The Devilettes never looked back once they got their eight-point lead. They extended the lead to as many as 16 with a 12-point run before Gleason finally scored its first points in the second period with 5:39 to play. Gleason closed the gap with a six-point run of its own to pull within seven, but SF finished out the half with two baskets to pull out in front 32-21.
Cross, one of the leaders for SF, picked up her fourth foul of the game in less than 30 seconds of the second half and sat out much of the third period. She fouled out five seconds into the fourth period. But with SF’s deep bench it did not slow down its attack having Cross on the bench. Haley picked up her scoring pace with 11 points in the half. She went 6-of-10 from the line in fourth period. Cori Jo Edmison and Martin each chipped in four points in the half.
Things got a little tense in the third period when Lee got called for a technical for arguing with one of the refs for what he thought should have been a foul called against Gleason. It was one way to get his team motivated after they let Gleason get back into the game. The Bulldogs got to within one point before SF’s Martin hit a layup to put SF back up by three. South Fulton went on a nine-point run to take the game away from Gleason.
“I felt like our team was sitting back on their heels a little too much more than anything. We needed to get fired up, and I tried to touch every button that I could with this bunch to make our kids play a little harder,” Lee said
Briana Jones was Gleason’s leading scorer with 18 and Quick put up 11 points. The Lady Bulldogs had 17 turnovers in the game while the Devilettes turned the ball over 12 times.
SF 64, Gleason 22 (B)
The Red Devils had no problem at all with the Bulldogs in what turned out to be a cake-walk.
South Fulton struck early and often against an inexperienced Gleason team. The Red Devils came out of the gate with an aggressive defense that frustrated the Bulldogs in the first period.
Seventy seconds into the game, Gleason tied the score at 2-2. South Fulton would not let them any closer to them the rest of the way thanks to a defense that forced nine turnovers in the first period. The Bulldogs turned the ball over 31 times in the game.
“I wanted to pick the pressure up. I didn’t want to come out flat and I felt the only way we are going to be able to play without being flat is to put the pressure up,” SF head coach Wes Miller said.
By the end of the first period, SF had a 21-4 advantage, and the Redmen led 41-11 at the half. Clint Wells scored a game-high 14 and Keshawn McManus popped in 11 points. Harrison Hawks had nine points.
SF had 27 steals, McManus, Hawks and Kyle Clouse with five each.
For the Bulldogs, their leading scorer was Avery Orr with six points.  
By the end of the third period, the Red Devils were looking at a 58-17 lead with mainly bench players on the court. They kept pressuring the Bulldogs into making bad passes and turning their mistakes into points.
“I knew that Gleason was a young and a lot of young teams don’t handle pressure. They are going to be good and compete in their district. When we go to Gleason, they will be a different team,” Miller said. Published in The Messenger 11.30.11

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