By Ben Mikell, Sports Writer
It didn't matter to Lafayette coach John Sherman how his Commodores won two games in a row, the fact of the matter is his team now has a winning streak.
<>The Commodores picked the right time to do so heading into the Division 2-4A Tournament at Ripley High School. Lafayette held off a late and furious rally by the Montgomery County Hornets to win 46-43 on Senior Night at the LHS gym Friday.
It is the first time since December 2013 that Lafayette (6-13 overall) had won two consecutive contests after winning 68-54 at Kossuth this past Tuesday. It was a fact Sherman was keenly aware of.
“I don't know if we are playing the best we have played all year, but we have won two in a row,” Sherman said. “It's got to feel good and it does feel good. We've won the week. We won Tuesday, we won Friday, we won on the road, and we won at home.”
Lafayette will face the New Albany Bulldogs Monday night in the opening round of the 2-4A tourney. It's a win-or-go home scenario where the loser of the game is done for the season.
The Commodores lost 73-43 in the first meeting with the Bulldogs, but played a much closer match in the second meeting in a 59-45 loss. Sherman knows for Lafayette to keep their season going, they must defend New Albany's top two players.
“We've definitely have to control 32 (Miles Washington) and 22 (Reggie McWilliams),” Sherman said. “Their post guy blocked a lot of our shots. If they have big nights, then we won't have a very big night so we have to contain those two.”
Quin Jones led all scorers in the contest with 25 points on 10-for-12 shooting and added nine rebounds. Montgomery County (6-9) was led by Dontavion Sutton off the bench with 13 points and added three steals. The Hornets made a 16-3 run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 44-42 to have a chance late thanks in part to 14 fourth quarter Lafayette turnovers. The Commodores outrebounded the Hornets 37-23.
Lady 'Dores rout MCHS
The Lafayette Lady Commodores routed Montgomery County in the girls' game 48-10. The win improved Lafayette to 18-6 overall including their last five contests to end the regular season. Lafayette coach Shayne Linzy believes his team is rolling at a high level heading into postseason play.
“We're in stride like I've wanted,” Linzy said. “These last few ball games I wanted us to develop into a rhythm getting ready for the division tournament. We're in that rhythm and we are playing well.”
In the first half of the season, the Lady 'Dores' offense was not where Linzy wanted it. During the second half of the season, he has seen the offense gradually improve to where points are also coming from their frontcourt offense and not just in transition from their defense.
“We are a lot more effective offensively,” Linzy said of the improvement. “Our transition game is really really good and that is to be expected because of our defense. We are now able to start scoring in our offensive sets and that's a definite plus. It's something else that makes us a little more dangerous with different players as well.”
Lafayette was led by Shaniyah and Azariah Buford with 10 points each. Eleven different Lady Commodores scored in the contest. Lafayette led 35-4 at halftime. Tatyana Womack led the Lady Hornets with six points. The Lady Commodores forced 34 turnovers in the game, with 27 coming from steals.