Lady Sharks bounce back from holiday losses

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The Lady Tiger Sharks varsity basketball team split their four games over the holiday stretch.

Port St. Joe was a late addition to the Arnold High Christmas Tournament, where they took on Westwood. a three-time Georgia private school state champion, on Dec. 29.

Westwood jumped out to an 11-8 lead in the first, and led 32-27 at the half, after scoring 21 to Port St. Joe’s 18 in the second quarter.

In the third, the Lady Tiger Sharks cut the margin to four, after outscoring Westwood 15-14 in the quarter, and entered the fourth trailing 46-42.

At the end of regulation, the game was knotted 66-all, and in the first overtime, each team scored four each to remain tied at 70-all. In the second overtime, Westwood scored nine points to Port St. Joe’s five to secure the 79-75 win.

Sophomore Jae Lenox scored 29 points, had 11 assists, three steals and a pair of rebounds. Junior Amani Jones scored 20, snared 14 rebounds and had two assists, a block and two steals.

Junior Mimi Larry scored 14, with three rebounds, four assists, three blocks and five steals. Sophomore Mari Johnson scored 10 points, with seven rebounds, two steals, two blocks, and an assist.

Junior Shadavia Hudgins scored two, with three rebounds, an assist and a steal.

The next day, Dec. 30, Port St. Joe traveled back to Panama City Beach, playing the Marianna Lady Bulldogs.

Port St. Joe jump out to a 7-3 lead in the first, but by the half Marianna led 11-9. In the third the Lady Bulldogs extend the led by 10 to a 21-11 margin. The Lady Sharks couldn’t get back in it in the fourth scoring 16 to the Lady Bulldogs 11, to fall 32-27 in the low-scoring contest.

Johnson scored eight points, with 11 rebounds, two steals and a block, while Lenox tallied seven, with a rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Jones scored five, grabbing 10 rebounds, with an assist, a blocked shot and three steals. Freshman India Gant scored four, with three rebounds and a steal, while Larry scored three, with a rebound and an assist.

On Jan. 5, Port St. Joe hosted Liberty County, and after a poor showing over the break the Lady Tiger Sharks got back on track against a district opponent. Port St Joe opened a 22-2 first quarter lead, a 38-3 margin by the half, and a running clock the rest of the way, for a 52-3 victory.

Lenox led with 13 points, a rebound, five assists and four steals, while Jones had 12, plus five rebounds, an assist and a block and three steals.

Johnson added nine, plus seven rebounds, an assist and a block, and four steals, and Larry contributed nine as well, plus a rebound, five assists, a block and four steals.

Hudgins scored four, plus two rebounds and a steal, while freshman Sha’Myra O’Neal scored four, with two rebounds and a blocked shot, and freshman Zhyion Quinn scored a point, with two rebounds and one steal.

On Jan. 7, Port St. Joe traveled to Springfield to play the Rutherford Lady Rams in a in school student body game.

Rutherford came out hot, hitting back-to-back three-pointers and led 14-9 after the first.

In the second, the Lady Rams kept the lead 27-24, but in the third, Port St. Joe final got hot and took the lead 44-42. In the fourth quarter, it was back and forth the whole quarter.

With five seconds left in the game and all tied at 55, the Lady Rams fouled forward Mari Johnson, and she sank both free throws, for a 58-56 victory.

Jones led with 18 points, plus 11 rebounds, a pair of assists and two blocked shots. Lenox scored 13, with four rebounds and 11 assists, and Larry had 13 as well, plus four rebounds, and an assist, a block and a steal.

Johnson tallied 10, and pulled down 11 rebounds and twice stole the ball, while Gant added four, plus five rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block.

The team’s Dec. Jan. 14 game has been cancelled due to the opponent’s COVID-19 numbers, The Ladt Tiger Sharks are home against Marianna on Friday, Jan. 15, and are at Gadsden County on Saturday evening, Jan. 16.

On Monday afternoon, Jan. 18, the team travels to Holmes County to face Graceville in the second half of the Red Hot Classic. On Tuesday, Jan. 19 Port St. Joe will host a rematch against Rutherford.

This article originally appeared on The Star: Lady Sharks bounce back from holiday losses

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