Childersburg 69, Booker T. Washington 49: Lady Tigers clip Lady Golden Eagles, advance to third-straight Sweet 16

Lady Tigers advance

Childersburg senior point guard Eunique McKinney ended her night in double figures with 11 points to go with seven steals, five rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.

CHILDERSBURG -- Childersburg High School’s girls basketball team cruised to a 69-49 victory over Booker T. Washington in a Class 4A sub-regional showdown on Monday night.

The Lady Golden Eagles outscored the Lady Tigers 26-18 in the final frame, but it wasn’t enough to undo Childersburg’s work in establishing a 51-23 advantage through three quarters.

“I was a little disappointed with how we finished the game,” Childersburg head coach Gavin King said. “We played really well for three quarters, but we didn’t finish the game. In Montgomery, we’re going to have to play four full quarters and we’re going to need everybody -- girl one through 14, to help us. We played 14 girls tonight, so we’re coming out of this healthy and fresh, which is good, but we need some role players to step up a little more if we’re going to get to Birmingham.”

Childersburg extended its winning streak to seven and each game featured a margin of victory of 15 points or greater. The Lady Tigers left some points on the table, particularly at the free-throw line, where they went 14 of 34. 

King said his team’s early defensive effort made up for those missed opportunities at the charity stripe as well as some earlier misses from beyond the arc.

“Some nights they fall, some nights they don’t,” King said. “I tell them just to keep shooting, and whatever happens, we’ll have to live with it, but on the night, we had 34 steals, not to mention how many travels or double-dribbles we caused with our pressure. When you turn a team over 40-something times, you can afford a bad night. 

“I told them exactly that before the game. Whether our free throws are falling or whether our 3s are falling, if we can play great defense, we’ll have a chance to win the game … If we can ever bring our defense and our shots fall, then we’re going to be a tough out for somebody.”

Childersburg senior small forward Jakiah Roston provided a sizable chunk of the scoring with 19 points. She also added seven steals, four rebounds and an assist.

“We expect that from Jakiah,” King said. “I’m not surprised. She’s a senior. She’s played in a lot of big games. She’s got some more big games coming up. The moment’s not too big. The girls know the process to get to Birmingham. This was another step …

“I know she played great on defense and had a lot of steals also. She finished around the rim -- probably could have had 25 or 30. She’s got the potential to score that many on a great night, so I’m certainly proud of her and our other four seniors. Their careers just got extended another week.”

Four to know

- The Lady Tigers opened the contest with a 10-0 run and led 13-3 at the end of the first frame. Childersburg went into the locker room ahead 27-14 at halftime.

- Booker T. Washington junior small forward Amber Jackson contributed to the late surge with 13 of her 17 points coming in the final period. Sophomore point guard Traviana Fielder chipped in nine, while sophomore shooting guard Zakiyah Alexanders finished with eight.

- Childersburg eighth-grader Aubrey Foy fell just short of a double-double (12 points, nine rebounds, four steals and one assist. Senior point guard Eunique McKinney also ended her night in double figures with 11 points to go with seven steals, five rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.

- Lady Golden Eagles junior point guard DaShayla Robinson was carried off the cart by team staff members after a hard foul under the goal by Foy. Robinson appeared to be clutching her ankle after the play had concluded.

Who said

- King on the win: “I’m very proud of the team going back to the Sweet 16. These girls have been there before, so while we’re excited, we’re ready to get to work.”

- Roston on her performance and her team advancing to the Sweet 16: “Being able to lead the team was all with the help of my teammates passing the ball and my shots were actually falling tonight -- some of them. It’s a good feeling going back (to the Sweet 16).”

Up next

- Childersburg (29-4) will meet Headland (20-4) on Monday in the 4A Southeast Regional Tournament at the Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery. The Lady Rams defeated Montgomery Catholic 66-37 to advance to the Sweet 16. The Lady Tigers eliminated Headland 65-49 in the Elite Eight a season ago. 

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