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Lafayette's girls basketball team faced a unique challenge during a 57-49 win Tuesday evening at home against Grafton.
While Lafayette's scoring was balanced with three players scoring in double-digits, Grafton relied almost solely on the scoring output of Haley Cunningham, who took 33 shots and scored a game-high 37 points.
Shutting down Cunningham, a prolific scorer, was the main goal of Lafayette Coach Dan Downs heading into Tuesday's game.
"She's a great player, and Rachel [Lia] did a great job defending her," he said. "Rachel did a good job, but she couldn't have done it without her teammates."
Slowing down Cunningham was a tall task in the first half, especially in the second quarter when Cunningham hit five consecutive field goals and scored 12 consecutive points for Grafton.
While Grafton's scoring was mostly limited to Cunningham in the first half — she scored 18 of Grafton's 26 first-half points — it appeared Lafayette might not be able to slow down the hot-handed shooter.
Behind Cunningham's strong first-half performance, Grafton held a 26-20 lead over the Rams.
Lia dominated on both ends of the court for Lafayette in the third quarter. She paced the Rams with 10 third-quarter points, but more importantly shut down Cunningham on the defensive end in a man-to-man defense; Cunningham shot 3-for-10 from the field in the third quarter.
While Lia led the Rams in points, Lafayette also had valuable contributions from Destiny Rivera, who drained back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter.
With Grafton trailing 41-38 and having surrendered its halftime lead, Cunningham attempted to put the Clippers on her back in the fourth quarter.
Cunningham scored all of Grafton's 11 fourth-quarter points, but was unable to push Grafton over the top without scoring assistance from her teammates.
On the other end of the floor, Lafayette's Kenya Holiday slowed down the game by driving to the hole and earning foul shots. Holiday, who finished the game with 12 points, contributed nine in the fourth quarter to help Lafayette close the game out.
Lafayette (3-3) has now won back-to-back games and will look to continue those winning ways when the Rams host Poquoson on Thursday.
Conversely, Grafton (20-4) has dropped back-to-back games and four of its last five. The Clippers will get an opportunity to rebound at home Thursday against Warhill.
Grafton: 9 17 12 11 — 49
Lafayette: 12 8 21 16 — 57
Grafton: Cunningham 37, Smith 4, Hare 3, Swann 5
Lafayette: Rivera 11, Holiday 12, K. Blake 1, R. Blake 4, Roberts 8, Lia 18, Hairston 3
3-point goals: Grafton 5 (Cunningham 5), Lafayette 4 (Rivera 3, Lia)
Johnson's Double-Double Leads Jamestown Past New Kent
Jamiyah Johnson led Jamestown to its third consecutive win Tuesday evening thanks to her double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Johnson's efforts helped lift the Eagles to a 57-40 road win over New Kent.
The first quarter was dominated by Johnson and Juliette Sim for Jamestown. While Johnson scored eight of her 18 points in the opening quarter, Sim chipped in six points to give the Eagles an early 11-point cushion.
Corynthian Williams made her presence felt in the second quarter, scoring seven of her 12 points to help Jamestown take a 32-17 lead heading into halftime.
A strong third quarter on offense by Jamestown helped the Eagles further extend their lead over the Trojans heading into the fourth quarter, in which Jamestown was able to cruise for the victory.
Jamestown (4-2) has played four consecutive road games and has managed a 3-1 record over that stretch. The Eagles will finally enjoy a home stand as they host Bruton on Thursday.
Jamestown: 18 14 15 10 — 57
New Kent: 7 10 9 14 — 40
Jamestown: Peterson 5, Sim 10, Boyd 2, Williams 12, Mingo 1, Harris 2, Graves 7, Johnson 18
New Kent: Slater 9, Goodlet 10, Davis 3, Yates 8, Glover 7, Gray 3
3-point goals: New Kent 2 (Davis, Yates)
Tabb Drops First Game of Season
Tabb's perfect start to the season came to an end on the road Tuesday as the Tigers fell on the road 50-40 against Smithfield.
Smithfield's Shannen Atkinson proved the difference for the Packers against the Tigers, posting 15 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks.
Normally a strong interior offense, Tabb was forced to put up more 3-pointers than usual given Smithfield's defensive prowess on the night. The outside-in offense resulted in fewer quality looks for Tabb.
With the offense not clicking, Tabb watched Smithfield put together a 14-0 run to close the second quarter and propel the Packers to a 25-13 halftime advantage.
Tabb's offense found its shooting rhythm in the second half as jump shots began to fall. Brianna Harper scored nine of her team-high 12 points in the third quarter to help pull the Tigers within single digits.
Despite the stronger second half, Tabb was unable to find stops on defense as Smithfield was able to secure the victory.
Tabb (6-1) will try to rebound at home against York on Thursday.
Tabb: 9 4 13 14 — 40
Smithfield: 9 16 10 15 — 50
Tabb: McDowell-Jarmon 5, Clemons 8, Royal 6, Smith 5, Williams 4, Harper 12
Smithfield: Atkinson 15, Parker 10, Jordan 11, Allmond 10, Hill 4
3-point goals: Tabb 5 (Clemoms 2, Harper 2, Smith), Smithfield 2 (Allmond 2)
Bruton Defense Stifles York
Bruton put together one of its best defensive performances of the season Tuesday night when the Panthers shut down York during a 55-30 road win.
Outside of the fourth quarter, which featured mostly reserve players for Bruton, York was unable to generate any offensive rhythm thanks to an aggressive Bruton defense.
So imposing was the Panthers' defense, York mustered a single point in the first quarter and had nine total points by halftime.
And despite Bruton's defensive dominance, the Panthers had their share of struggles offensively in the first half. While Bruton held York to one point in the first quarter, the Panthers scored just seven points themselves.
A 12-point second quarter allowed Bruton to take a 19-9 halftime lead over the Falcons.
The Panthers finally pulled away from York in the third quarter behind strong play from Gabby Calloway, who finished with a game-high 14 points.
Bruton (5-1) will face a tough road game against Jamestown on Thursday, while York (1-4) is looking to break a four-game losing skid when it travels to play Tabb on Thursday.
Bruton: 7 12 17 19 — 55
York:1 8 6 15 — 30
Bruton: Calloway 14, Sluss 10, My. Johnson 9, Samuel, Ma. Johnson 5, Ferguson 5, Wynne 4
York: Van Dyke 13, Bennett 3, Horner 2, North 5, Harris 3, McKoy-Olivis 2, Shoats 2
Warhill Falls by One to Poquoson
Warhill's girls basketball team suffered a tough one-point road loss against Poquoson on Tuesday evening.
The Lions came up just short against the Islanders, falling 37-36.
Tuesday's loss to Poquoson was one of Warhill's worst offensive performances this season, with 36 points scored. The Lions scored 34 points — a season low — during a Dec. 10 loss against Jamestown.
Warhill (4-2) will look to rebound from the loss during a Thursday road contest against Grafton.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Poquoson 37, Warhill 36