NORCROSS, GA – The McEachern Lady Indians are trying to send a strong message. Although their 68-40 scrimmage win over defending 2A state champion Buford last Saturday will not count in the standings, it is on their resume.
McEachern can now add another win over a defending champion to that resume. The Lady Indians defeated defending two-time defending 5A champion Norcross Blue Devils 55-43 for this first season win. Although it’s early in the season it should be noted that both wins came on the road, which is the truest test of any team especially when your playing a defending champion.
McEachern outscored Norcross 35-19 in the second half after trailing 24-20 at the break. Norcross seemed to get the legs under them in the second quarter, after the McEachern’s physical defense gave them fits in the first quarter, behind all-world talent Diamond DeShields, who scored 10 of the Lady Blue Devils 14 points in the second quarter and had a sweet air reverse layup to end the half, while holding McEachern to only 5 points in the quarter.
In third quarter the teams would go back and forth in the nip and tuck affair but McEacherns Dominique Wilson began to find her groove getting 6 of the Indians 12 points in the quarter while Norcross got solid play from Patrice Butler and Jasmine Kemp to close the quarter strong on a 9-2 run and a 35-32 lead heading to the fourth.
That’s when the Lady Indians would truly flex their muscle. Trailing 40-38, Wilson dropped in a trey from just left of the key and came back with another trey to push the lead to 44-40. Then a Destinie Gibbs layup in transition and another bucket by Wilson pushed the lead count to 48-40 with 2:44 to play forcing a Norcross timeout. After the timeout freshmen sensation Tre’a Cooper hit a free throw,her only point, to extend the McEachern lead to 49-40 and the Lady Indians were on a 11-0 run, which would seal the game.
“Defense won the game for us, period”, McEachern head coach Phyliss Arthur said afterwards.
For McEachern Dominique Wilson would finish with a game high 24 points followed by teammate Pachi Roberts’ 19. Diamond DeShields led Norcross with 19 points.
Norcross will face 3A power Columbia on Thursday and 4A state champ Fayette County on Saturday to conclude their annual Tip-off Classic. McEachern will return to action against Brookwood in the Cobb/Gwinnett Challenge before a trip to Memphis for Turkey Jam.