KATHLEEN -- Freed up by the attention shown her all-state teammate, Washington County senior Kala Brown scored 13 of her 19 points in the first half and the Lady Hawks earned a berth in the championship game of the second annual Veterans Christmas tournament with a 71-50 win over Warner Robins on Wednesday.
“I just made sure I was available at all times so my teammates can get me the ball,” Brown said of her ability to get open in the lane. “We work together as a team.”
Brown said the core of the current Washington County team has played together since she was in eighth grade. Those players have developed trust for each other which helps with on-court spacing and ball movement.
“We’ve got that chemistry,” she said.
Junior Allisha Gray led all scorers with 34 points, and half of those came in the fourth quarter. Earlier, Warner Robins did a good job denying Gray the ball. But Brown made her presence known. She scored the first five points of the game while the Lady Hawks set the tone with their defense.
“We don’t sit back in a 2-3 or any zone,” Brown said. “We press the whole game, and I think it helped a lot.”
Warner Robins (8-2) struggled to keep pace. The Demonettes’ opening possession ended with a blocked shot. Warner Robins then turned the ball over on its next six trips down the floor.
In the first half, the Demonettes turned the ball over 20 times. Many of those were the result of unforced errors.
“(Washington County) made us a play a little faster,” Warner Robins head coach Tom Mobley said. “They’re more athletic than anyone we’ve played so far this year.”
Warner Robins was hurt by the absence of starting guard Aaliyah Jones, who injured her foot in an opening-round game on Tuesday. That left the Demonettes without one of their top ballhandlers.
“It put us in a situation where we had to rely on more post players,” Mobley said.
To make matters worse, Warner Robins shot poorly. The Demonettes missed at least a dozen layups in the first half. As a result, Washington County went to intermission with a 32-21 lead.
Senior Kenyona Armstrong was the first Warner Robins player to score. She hit a 3-point shot just shy of four minutes into the game. Armstrong led the Demonettes with 19 points. No other player reached double figures.
Washington County has now won 41 straight games. The Lady Hawks have 27 consecutive wins against schools outside of their own classification. Their last loss outside of GHSA Class AAA came in November of 2009.