South Effingham High School

SEHS fights past Camden to claim region’s No. 3 seed

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February 17, 2016

By Patrick Donahue

Though her team started the Class AAAAA state girls basketball playoffs on the road, South Effingham coach Missy Roddenberry believes her team is in good position for the tournament. The Lady Mustangs claimed the No. 3 seed, holding off Camden 47-40 in the Region 3-AAAAA consolation game Friday afternoon at Camden County High School. South Effingham’s strategy of getting the Lady Wildcats into foul trouble proved effective and pivotal — the Lady Mustangs put Camden point guard Khalia McMorris on the bench and eventually out of the game with fouls. “They played well together, Roddenberry said. “When we needed to take it to certain players to get them into foul trouble, they did it. We got their best player in foul trouble in the first half, and that was huge. Senior center Shae Leverett, often triple-teamed in the Lady Mustangs’ half-court offense, finished with 28 points. She hit 16 of 24 free throw attempts. Behind McMorris, the Lady Wildcats ended the first quarter on a 10-0 run, taking a 20-11 lead. McMorris hit a 3-pointer and had two assists, one for a 3, during the spurt. But Roddenberry went with a box-and-one defense, using Diera Newberry to chase the elusive McMorris. In the second quarter, the Lady Mustangs held Camden to four points, and only one field goals, forging a 24-24 tie. South Effingham went back to its man-to-man defense, even after a tiring full-court game the night before, and Camden struggled without McMorris on the floor. “She’s their whole offense, Roddenberry said. “She’s a great players. She plays with such heart. Getting her in foul trouble was a big deal. McMorris, who had 13 points, keyed Camden’s offense often with her defense, getting steals to start fast breaks. “We had to protect the ball when she’s around, Roddenberry said. Leverett turned a Cheyenne Boswell pass into a basket to open the second-half scoring, and South Effingham never trailed again. Thirty seconds after that, McMorris was called for a charge, her second foul of the second half, and she went to the bench for nearly eight minutes. During that stretch, the Lady Mustangs widened their lead to 42-32. Mallori Jenkins had six points for the Lady Mustangs, while Faith Harris and Jordan Bisard each had five and Boswell added three points. Brittney Shelton led Camden with 17 points, connecting on four 3-point shots. Though Leverett carried the scoring load Friday, a more balanced attack has been the norm lately for the Lady Mustangs. “She played a great game, Roddenberry said. “She played very hard, getting rebounds, even though she was getting hammered underneath. You can’t ask for more than that. She is shining when she needs to shine. We have other girls starting to shine. We’re starting to have two and three girls in double digits every night. It’s not just Shae and Faith. We’ve got other girls picking up the scoring, and that’s where the difference is. Roddenberry was happy how her team responded after Thursday night’s disappointment, when Brunswick knocked the Lady Mustangs into the third-place game with a 60-58 overtime win. The Lady Mustangs opted not to return home after the game, instead spending the night after the loss to Brunswick at a nearby hotel. “I am very proud of them after (Thursday) night, Roddenberry said. “We played full man to man Thursday night for 32 minutes. They were tired, not to mention staying in a hotel. South Effingham was knocked into the third-place game after Brunswick stormed back from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat the Lady Mustangs 60-58 in overtime. Harris led the Lady Mustangs with 21 points. Leverett had 13, Bisard added 11, Boswell scored seven, Jillian Pelote had four and Jenkins scored two points. The two teams ended regulation tied 56-56.

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