FAMU girls take out unbeaten Valdosta

FAMU girls take out unbeaten Valdosta


FAMU girls take out unbeaten Valdosta


As two-time defending state champions, the FAMU High girls basketball team knows it will get everyone’s best shot.

Sometimes that means physically, as Rattlers guard Jazmine Jones learned the hard way Saturday afternoon.

In the end, FAMU High held off Valdosta 56-50 at the Capital City Holiday Classic at TCC despite Jones missing a quarter from a hard collision with the court. The sophomore scored 16 points and was named MVP of the two-day tournament as the Rattlers knocked off another challenging foe.

“We knew when we won the first (state title), we’d have a big target on our back,” Jones said. “Trying to win a third game is hard. The competition on our schedule is better than any schedule we’ve had.”

La’Karis Salter scored 13 of her game-high 19 point in the first half when Ja’Nyia McNealy (14 points) also hit her three 3-pointers. FAMU High (10-4) was rewarded with a six-point lead at the break, which proved important as Jones exited with under a minute remaining and did not return until late in the third quarter.

“We preach all the time to keep their composure no matter what the pace of the game is,” Rattlers coach Ahmad Aliyy said. “You have to recognize the clock and then what we’re trying to run. … There’s timing situations where you have to take advantage and score when you have a chance to score. “

The Rattlers navigated the third period without their best ballhandler, while Valdosta (7-1) was unable to take advantage. Tiaera Phillips scored 12 points and Desinee Arnold 10 for the disappointed Wildcats.

“We messed up a few opportunities, had a couple turnovers late in the game that hurt really bad,” Wildcats coach E.A. Wilcox said. “We couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes and turnovers. We couldn’t get over the hump. We were a play or two away from taking control and we didn’t do it.”

Having been full-court pressed for much of the game and turning the ball over in accordance, FAMU High found a win in making 15 of 22 free throws to keep Valdosta at bay. But there were other opportunities to build a bigger lead, so the Rattlers see all the varying looks as chances to learn and get better.

“They’re a good team and we’re a good team,” Aliyy said. “I just want to see us become a great team.”


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