The Howard Lady Huskies were clicking on all cylinders Tuesday night as they dismantled Hephzibah 54-42 in the first round of the GHSA Class AAAA playoffs.
The Lady Huskies got 10 points each from Taylor Thorpe, Jamila Mayfield and Chasma Hart to claim their first win in a playoff game in the programs fifth year.
I dont think words can really explain how good this feels, head coach Latavia Coleman said. I can remember the two-win season and all of the other years where we didnt have a chance to make the playoffs. This is really special for the girls that have been here since the start, and it just feels great to get the first one out of the way.
I have thought from the start of the season this could be a special team, and this was Howard basketball all the way in this game.
Howard basketball all the way probably could be defined as playing aggressive defense, led by stopper Jamaica Williams, and a balanced offense in which anyone on the floor is capable of scoring. The Lady Huskies showed all of that in the first half, limiting the Lady Rebels to 16 points on 27 percent shooting. Meanwhile, Howard had four players with either four or six points and shot 47 percent from the field to take a 27-16 lead.
Howard came out in the third quarter and scored the first 12 points of the quarter to blow the game open at 39-16. Thorpe showed her versatility, scoring twice, while adding two assists and two steals in the run and ended up with six assists and five steals in the game.
Howard stretched the lead to 52-25 in the fourth quarter on a Williams basket, and Coleman was able to sit back and relax with a huge lead, although Hephzibah did score the final 12 points of the game.
This is the way we wanted it to be, said Thorpe, who tore an ACL before the state tournament last year and missed the Lady Huskies first round-loss to Crisp County. We have had some ups and downs as a basketball team, but we always knew that we were capable of playing good basketball at this time of the year. Its very exciting to be a part of the first state playoff win and our first trip to the Sweet 16, but we are not satisfied at all. We feel like we have a lot more basketball to play.