Brandi Goodman made quite the first impression in the Heritage Bank Hardwood Classic.
The University of Memphis signee poured in a career-high 44 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead Obion Central to an 81-63 triumph over Memphis East in first round play of the tournament being hosted by Calloway County High School in Murray.
The win propelled the Lady Rebels to today’s pool play action, where they’ll play Jackson South Side. Central will play a third game in the event — regardless of today’s outcome — on Saturday.
In other high school action from Thursday, Union City swept a pair of makeup games from visiting Halls, winning the girls’ contest 69-31 and then the boys’ nightcap 60-50.
The games were originally scheduled for Dec. 7, but postponed due to a flu outbreak at Halls.
The Tornadoes are back in action tonight in a pair of non-district matchups at Westview with the UC boys then playing Olive Branch (Miss.), at Lausanne High School in the Lynx Holiday Classic on Saturday afternoon.
In other games tonight, South Fulton hosts Twin-Cities rival Fulton City in both girls’ and boys’ play.
OC 81, Mem. East 63 (G)
Central (11-1) won its 10th straight game on the strength of Goodman’s dominating effort.
“It was our best offensive game of the year,” Lady Rebel head coach Lyle LaRue said. “We worked the ball inside at first, then hit some big threes when East started sagging back on Brandi in the second half.”
Shannon Wiggins made three shots from behind the 3-point arc and finished with 13 points. Ali McEwen pitched in with 11 markers, while Paige Hicks scored eight.
OC led 21-9 after one and 45-29 at the halftime break.
The Lady Rebs made 20-of-26 free throws.
The loss was just the second in nine games for East.
UC 69, Halls 31 (G)
Three Lady Tornadoes scored in double figures, two with double-doubles, as Union City jumped on the visitors early and continued to pull away.
Tory Reedy and Jackie Hudson both had 19 points, while Tamara Nettles added 12.
Hudson also grabbed 12 rebounds, and Nettles came down with 11 for UC.
The Lady Twisters took an 18-8 lead after one period and then picked up the defensive intensity over the next two periods, forcing turnovers and getting transition baskets to outscore Halls 42-20.
Union City led 38-19 at the half and 60-28 by the end of three periods.
“We didn’t turn them over much in the first quarter,” UC head coach Eddie Suiter said. “But, we played more up-tempo defense in the second and third quarters and forced more turnovers.”
UC improves to 10-2 overall and 7-0 in District 14A. Halls drops to 8-5 and 3-3.
UC 60, Halls 50 (B)
The Tornadoes got back on the winning track after suffering their first district loss vs. Greenfield Tuesday.
It wasn’t necessary pretty, though.
UC (9-3, 6-1) was guilty of 18 turnovers and gave up 14 offensive rebounds against the Tigers, who fell to 8-3 overall and 4-3 in 14A.
The Twisters did shoot the ball from the perimeter considerably better than two nights earlier, however, hitting half of their 16 attempts from beyond the 3-point line.
Marcus DeBerry was particularly improved, hitting five triples while finishing with 15 points.
Donte Simpson led Union City with 19 points, while LaMonte Dickerson scored nine.
Published in The Messenger 12.21.12