By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MEMPHIS — The post Maiya Reed Era officially began Nov. 16 on the campus of Overton High School.
The new-look Munford Lady Cougars traveled to the Overton Gymnasium to take on the Lady Wolverines and put all the lessons from Head Coach Steve Poindexter and staff into action. In a seesaw affair, the Lady Cougars emerged with a 49-40 victory.
After trailing at halftime and falling behind 33-25 in the third quarter, the young Lady Cougars responded with an offensive run and key defensive plays to win the season opener.
“They showed a wide range of things,” Poindexter declared. “They showed they’re scrappy, they’re not going to lay down and quit. They also showed in late games situations you can see our youth and inexperience. They didn’t quite finish the game the way I wanted them to.”
Munford started strong in the first quarter leading to the eventual finish. The opening quarter was won by the Lady Cougars 11-10. Munford guards Skyler Holland and Hannah Callanhan hit three pointers. Brezia Cooper hit a jumper in the first 8 minutes to help Munford take the one-point lead.
After Overton grabbed a quick 12-11 advantage courtesy of Aliya Herron free throws, the Lady Cougars proceeded with a 6-0 run with Harlee Windsop and Cooper doing all the scoring. But the 17-12 Munford lead evaporated into an Overton 23-19 halftime lead. KaMya Jackson closed out the second quarter with 5 points including a triple for the Lady Wolverines.
Overton tried to seize control of the game in the third quarter. Holland tied the game at 23-23 with a triple. Then the Lady Wolverines went on a 10-2 run to take an 8 point lead. Overton’s Alexandria Clemmons had the highlight play of the stretch with a shot and foul leading to a three-point play.
Abby Haun snapped Overton’s momentum with a layup to make the score 33-27. The score was 34-29 entering the fourth quarter.
Munford would proceed to score 20 points in the fourth quarter while holding Overton to 6 points. Haun made another layup sparking the Munford rally. With the game deadlocked at 38-38, Munford received a big three-pointer from Callahan to make the score 43-38 in favor of the Lady Cougars.
Cooper iced the game in the final seconds with a layup, steal leading to a basket and three-point play. While trying to nurse the lead, the Lady Cougars did rush the offense and took outside shots giving Overton multiple possessions.
Poindexter noted that is the sign of a young team still learning.
“The first half was very sluggish and shots weren’t going,” he said. “I felt like we weren’t very motivated to play defense. When we had to have stops, the intensity was there enough.
“We had some girls step up,” he concluded. “Hannah and Brez hit some big shots. That loose ball hustle play with Harlee in the fourth quarter was a huge play. It’s the first game, you’re going to see new people transitioning into new roles. You’re going to see a lot of players with limited experience out there. So it’s going to be interesting.