The McEachern Lady Indians completed a stretch of games that could easily be taken for a professional teams schedule. McEachern defeated Hoover (AL) 75-53 for their 16th victory of the season capping a five game in nine-day stretch. The Lady Indians won 16 games last season and exited in the first round of the playoffs after winning a state title in Georgia’s highest classification the previous season.
Ranked No. 21 nationally after wins over Nazareth (NY) and Capitol Christian (MD) in the Rose Classic Super Jam last weekend in Brooklyn, NY, McEachern took care of their final national opponent prior to their late season region schedule that awaits in their home state of Georgia.
Hoover (AL) is nationally known for its football program that has won multiple state titles in recent years, including this past 2013 season. Add the girls hoop squad to that. The Lady Buccaneers are winners of back-to-back titles in 6A Alabama and breaking in a new squad this season under head coach Tiffany Fredrick.
Hoover opened up strong with a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The Lady Buccaneers held McEachern without a point until the 1:30 mark of the first quarter and without a field goal until 21 seconds remained in the quarter.
The Lady Bucs took a 10-6 lead into the second quarter and led again 11-10 after splitting a pair of free throws. It was all McEachern and Te’a Cooper after that. Cooper helped McEachern overcome their slow start by draining a three-pointer giving them a 13-11 lead they would never relinquish with 6:20 to play in the second quarter. McEachern’s fatigue showed throughout the contest yet they overcame it by using their talent, great effort and an experienced coaching staff.
Cooper’s triple was part of a 23-1 McEachern run over a nine-plus minute span covering the end of the first quarter into the second quarter, sending them on their way. McEachern used it’s pressure defense to force multiple turnovers which they converted for easy baskets during the run and led 37-18 at halftime.
Hoover opened the second half fighting with a quick 4-2 spurt forcing a McEachern timeout. After the timeout Caliya Robinson found Cooper for an easy layup followed up by a Taylor Gordon three-pointer and Hoover never challenged again.
Cooper- who is being heavily recruited by North Carolina, led all scorers with 31 points, 6 assist and 6 steals. Sophomore Jada Lewis finished with 19 points, 4 assist, 4 steals and Taylor Gordon (Wake Forest) had 10 points, 5 assist accounting for the double-figure scorers for McEachern. Caliya Robinson continues to stuff the box score finishing with 8 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 6 blocks.
McEachern (16-2 overall; 9-0 region) finishes their national schedule 5-2 with wins over teams from Florida, New York and Maryland and have yet to lose a game to a Georgia team. Their losses came to Blackman (TN) and Marian Catholic (IL). Blackman (TN) is ranked No. 3 nationally.
“We’ve been sluggish and lazy our last couple of games and the schedule is what we scheduled. We’ll take some time off and get some rest, we’ve played teams that will have us ready for postseason play,” McEachern head coach Phyllis Arthur said. “I’m proud of the girls.”
The Lady Indians were whistled for 28 fouls in the contest.
McEachern is the overall No.1 ranked girls team in Georgia and will face South Cobb, Harrison and Campbell this week before closing the regular season in two weeks against Kennesaw Mountain (7-11; 2-9), Campbell and South Cobb. The Lady Indians have yet to face South Cobb (4-15; 1-10) and Campbell (15-6; 8-4) and have victories over Harrison 72-42 and Kennesaw Mountain 85-23 in region play previously this season.