Lady Dukes Turned Away By Amelia In JRD Tournament Title Game

Published 3:58 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2012

AMELIA C.H. – Not many teams have been able to solve the athletic Cumberland High School girls basketball team this season. Not many, except for Amelia, that is.

Much like it had in its James River District regular-season, the Lady Raiders led from start to finish in a 57-52 victory over Cumberland in the James River District Tournament Championship Game held at Amelia High School.

For Amelia, it was the cap to a 17-0 campaign in the James River District. For Cumberland, it was frustrating, as they dropped only their third district game all season – all to Amelia.

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“We didn't rebound,” said CHS head coach Omar Liggins. “It's as simple as that. I have to hand it to Amelia. They're an outstanding basketball team. They're an excellent rebounding team, and they did a good job of holding us off the boards tonight. They would hold us to one shot on our end, and get two or three cracks at the basket on theirs.

“When that happens, this is the result. Our girls kept fighting, and made a game of it late, but it was just Amelia's night.”

Much like it has of late, Cumberland got off to a slow start in the first quarter as Amelia rushed out to a 14-3 lead before a three-pointer by junior guard Akira Davenport cut the Lady Dukes' deficit to eight on a three pointer in the final minute of the quarter.

Cumberland was able to remain in striking distance for the entire contest, but could never completely close the gap on the tournament hosts. A 7-0 run by the Lady Dukes cut Amelia's lead to 20-15 with 1:54 remaining in the half on a short jumper by Ivy Arbaugh.

Amelia led 23-16 at the half, and was able to stretch its margin out to ten points early in the third quarter on a bucket by Sydnie Baker that gave ACHS a 29-19 lead. Takia Williams extended Amelia's lead to 39-24 on a three-pointer with 1:47 left in the third, but Cumberland cut the lead back to 12 points on a mid-range jumper by Davenport.

Cumberland looked to be winning momentum early in the fourth. The Lady Dukes forced several turnovers by Amelia, but were not able to capitalize on them. Amelia maintained its 10-12 point cushion.

Cumberland senior I-Mecka Anderson was fouled on a layup attempt with 5:09 left to play, but wasn't able to convert the three-point play.

Amelia benefitted from a mishap with the posession arrow with just under five minutes to play. Cumberland forced a turnover, but was unable to convert it into what looked to be easy points. Amelia forced a jump ball on the rebound, was awarded possession and scored shortly thereafter. Amelia forced another jump ball on Cumberland's ensuing possession. The Lady Raiders were awarded the ball again without protest from the scorer's table and scored to take its biggest lead of the night at 52-37.

Cumberland made an 8-0 run to cut Amelia's lead to 52-45 on a stickbck by Arbaugh. CHS freshman Annesha Harris scored ten fourth quarter points, but the Lady Raiders were able to score just enough down the stretch to keep Cumberland from getting the game under two possessions.

“We tried to match speed with speed,”said Liggins. “Their girls were up to the task. They understood what to do when we pressed and were able to break it.”

Davenport led the Lady Dukes with 13 points on the evening, while Anderson scored 11. Harris added 10, and Arbaugh scored eight.

“We didn't get the trophy we wanted, but this is a good thing for us,” said Liggins. “This group of girls has never been in this situation before. Now we get ready for Stonewall Jackson.”

Cumberland will host Stonewall Jackson in the Region B, Division I Quarterfinals on Wednesday night.