Tall Order: Detroit uses rebounding advantage to oust Cumby girls from playoffs
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor
Feb. 13, 2008 - SULPHUR BLUFF - The Cumby Lady Trojans led Detroit through most of the first-half of their Class A, Bi-district playoff game on Tuesday despite being badly out-rebounded.
But, once the Lady Eagles found their running game, too, they were able to put some distance between themselves and Cumby in a 65-41 victory at Sulphur Bluff High School.
The Lady Trojans, starting three freshmen, led 10-5 after the first period despite a 14-4 rebounding deficit. But, Detroit's tandem of Brianna Williams and Adrienne Bronner started capitalizing on some of their offensive rebounds, leading to a 26-19 halftime lead for the Lady Eagles.
Williams led Detroit with a double-double of 22 points and 23 rebounds, while Bronner added six points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. They helped Cumby to a 55-31 rebounding advantage.
Cumby was led by freshman Savanah Neal, who finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Brittany Seely, Scarlett Tarno and Laura Oviedo each scored five points.
At halftime, Cumby head coach Renee Morris emphasized the need to keep Detroit off the boards after Cumby's rebounding deficit grew to 30-7, which led to 13 second-chance points by the Lady Eagles in the first half. But, Detroit was then able to get out on the break and run the floor in the second half.
"I felt like tonight's game would have been a pretty close game, but the difference was our lack of rebounding," Morris said. "They clearly out-rebounded us from beginning to end, and that's why the score got out of hand.
"On paper, the two teams looked pretty even. But, I knew they had the big post player (Bronner), and we had to block her out or they would kick our tails, and that's kind of what happened."
The game played out closer than the score indicated. The Lady Trojans were down by seven at halftime, thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Neal, and cut the lead to two points, 26-24, just 90 seconds into the game on a putback by Seely and a free throw and a lay-in from Tarno.
Cumby kept the deficit to within one possession until Detroit went on an 11-2 run with 3:30 to play. The run was finally broken by Neal, who made a mid-court steal and lay-up with 12 seconds remaining in the period to draw the Lady Trojans to within 41-32.
But, Detroit opened up the fourth period on a 10-0 run, punctuated by three straight fast-break baskets, to go up by 19 points (51-32) and put the game out of reach.
Tarno, who had five rebounds and five steals, fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, which hurt Cumby's comeback effort. Tarno, Amanda Barrow and Jennifer Herron played their final game for the Lady Trojans (17-11).
"Overall, I was pleased with the girls' effort," Morris said. "I would have liked to have been on the other end of it with a win. But, we've got four starters coming back next year."
Detroit, coached by former North Hopkins assistant Dee Ann Evans, improved to 17-14, but now has the unenviable position of taking on No. 1-ranked Martins Mill in the area round. Martins Mill is coming off two straight state tournament appearances and are led by Texas Tech pledge Jordan Barncastle.