It probably was not the Central Chargers’ best game of the year, but when it comes to the layoffs all that matters is getting the win.
The Chargers shook off a slow start and 29 turnovers to coast to a 55-41 win over Liberty County in the first round of the GHSA Class 3A playoffs Friday.
Central trailed 4-0 after the first two minutes but led 11-6 after a quarter and stretched that to a 28-16 halftime lead by forcing 15 first-half turnovers. Jenya Wilder scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the first half, and the Chargers were never threatened in the second half.
Three who mattered
Wilder: The junior scored 16 points and added 10 rebounds.
Tyleia Williams: Williams scored 14 points for Central and added 10 rebounds.
Jada Clowers: Central’s post player ended the game with 13 points and seven rebounds to go along with six blocked shots.
Liberty County cut the Chargers’ lead to 28-19 early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Destiny Craig, but Central responded by outscoring Liberty County 16-6 for the rest of the quarter to put the game away. Clowers has eight points in the quarter and added five rebounds to help build the lead to 44-25 by the end of the quarter.
They said it
Wilder on her team’s early struggles: “I don’t think we were ever really worried during the game because we have faith in each other to get through the tough times on the court. We all knew that we would get things going and get the win.”
Wilder on getting the win: “It was a team win, and we have had games when we haven’t played our best and still won. I know we will play much better in the next game.”
Central head coach Sheila Toombs on the performance: “We were obviously not at our best and we can’t win very often turning the ball over that much, but a lot of that is the week without a game. It is very difficult to just practice and be ready for the speed of a game. But I am very happy that we still got a good win against a team that played hard and had nothing to lose.”
Toombs on the confidence in her team: “Oh I have no doubt that we will play much better next Wednesday. That puts us back on a regular schedule, which is very important for us. At this time of year it is all about winning and advancing and we are very excited for Wednesday night.”
Central will be at home again Wednesday for the second round.