Lionettes Shut Down Coffee Co., 44-28

TONY STINNETT, Courier Co-Editor

MANCHESTER - Abbey Sissom took care of the offense and Cannon County clamped down with another total team defensive effort as the Lionettes stymied Coffee County, 44-28, in Manchester Friday (Dec. 16).

Sissom was responsible for 66 percent of the team's offense. The sophomore scored 23 points and dished out three assists to account for 29 of the Lionettes' 44 points. She also had four steals. Lindsey Reed had another stat sheet stuffer with seven points, nine rebounds, seven steals and three assists. Senior Joanna Young also was solid with six points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists.

"It was good to put back-to-back good games together," Sissom said. "We had not done that in awhile so consistency was important and we played well overall. My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball and the shots were falling, for the most part, tonight. It was a total team effort because our defense was the big thing."

Cannon County improved to 9-2 with a defensive gem. The Lionettes trailed 10-8 early in the second quarter but used a 16-2 run over the final six minutes of the frame to surge into the locker room with a 24-12 advantage. Young and Jordan Hollis' initial defensive pressure keyed the second-quarter run, and Sissom scored six in the frame to help distance the Lionettes.

"This is the second straight game that players have bought into playing defense and this was against a little tougher opponent than Tuesday (DeKalb County)," Lionettes Head Coach Michael Dodgen said. "We came out with a lot of energy and focus. One through 10 the girls who are playing are working hard to disrupt things and get into the passing lane."

The Lionettes were highly disruptive against the Lady Red Raiders, who were 9-of-40 (23 percent) from the field and turned the ball over 20 times. Coffee County connected on just four second-half field goals.

Although Cannon County's defense was electric, its offense did not enjoy one of its better shooting nights. The Lionettes were 14-of-47 (30 percent) from the field and missed several high-percentage shots.

"We are still leaving a lot of points on the floor offensively by not converting some of those turnovers," Dodgen said. "During one stretch in the second half we had three consecutive steals and missed three consecutive layups. If you make those a 12-point lead is 18 and you don't have to worry as much about a fourth-quarter run getting them back in the game. We are getting good shots and they will start to fall because the girls work too hard on their shot."

Cannon County collected three steals, led by Reed's seven and Young's four. The Lionettes also were dominant on the boards with 30 rebounds, 11 of which were offensive caroms. Reed's nine boards led the way, followed by Young with eight and Ashley Basham with six.