By Larry Lamb
Lovelady’s girls basketball season got off to a winning start under new head coach Kollyn McWhinney against county rival Crockett, 58-27, on the road Tuesday, Nov. 10.
The Lady Lions led 14-6 after a quarter, 26-12 at halftime and 37-19 at the end of three.
Macie LaRue had the hot hand in the middle quarters when she scored 13 of her 17 points (1 trey) to pace Lovelady’s offense.
Shyanne Pipkin, a returning all-district second-team honoree, scored 11 (1 trey) and Kortney Bynum rounded out double figures with 10.
Aaliyah Jones canned 6, while Morgan Womack, Haley Davidson and Shelby Pugh scored four apiece. Rojanae Polhamus, a returning all-district first-teamer, tossed in 2.
Crockett’s scoring was led by Quenisha Henderson with 10 (1 trey). Tocarra Johnson had 7, Ty’Shonda Bell 4 and La’Kyriah Hamilton drained a 3-pointer. Keaton Crabtree, A’Naya Wooten and Ja’Kenya Tryon each had a free throw.
Before coming to Lovelady, McWhinney was head coach at Class 3A Marion High School for 16 seasons. She passed the 300-win milestone during the 2016-17 season and finished the 2019-2020 season with a total of 363 victories.
After finishing third in the district last season, the Lady Lions beat Cayuga in bi-district and then knocked off a highly ranked Marlin squad before being eliminated by Crawford in the third round.
Texas Basketball magazine’s prediction for District 20-2A is a repeat of last year. Grapeland (35-5, 12-0) is the projected champion, followed by Centerville (25-9, 10-2), Lovelady (25-12, 7-5) and Jewett Leon (12-9, 6-6). Slocum, Groveton and Latexo round out the district.
Lovelady opens district play Dec. 11 on the road against Groveton.
The Lady Bulldogs are playing catch-up after missing the first two weeks of practice due to Covid-19 quarantine.
Crockett begins its District 20-3A schedule Dec. 8 at home against Teague.