Laney scores early, often


Laney’s Amber Doniere comes down with the rebound in front of Lakewood’s Teisha Rich during the first half of play Monday. Laney defeated Lakewood 58-26 during the MLK Jamboree at Union High School. (Photo by Ken Blevins)


Laney’s girls basketball team had a simple objective heading into Monday’s 10:30 a.m. game against Lakewood.

“I asked them what we needed to do today,” Bucs coach Sherri Tynes said. “And they said ‘Wake up.’”

The Bucs (14-1) had no problem with that, stomping Lakewood 58-26 at the MLK Jamboree at Union.

The Leopards (14-1) entered the game undefeated and as one of the top 1A teams in the state. But Laney dominated from start to finish. The Bucs built a 15-point halftime lead and continued to build it to 32 for the final margin.

“We felt like we could execute defensively, we could give them something they hadn’t seen before.”

Laney’s suffocating defense had its usual effect in suffocating Lakewood. The Leopards never scored double-digits in any single quarter and had to resort to low-percentage, outside shots for much of the game.

But Laney’s offense also made a powerful appearance as well, led by Amber Doniere’s double-double. Doniere finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“She was busting it on the boards,” Tynes said. “That’s what we ask her to do every game and she’s capable of doing that. She’s got to step up every game and give us a good presence inside.”

Doniere’s frontcourt mate Paulette Addison added 9 points inside as Laney used its size advantage to control the boards and the game.

“Our post players did a good job of getting into position and running hi-lo, and our guards did a good job of seeing that,” Tynes said. “We did a good job of giving them one shot.”

The post wasn’t the only place where Laney found buckets. Guards Briana Baham and Kelli Gottry combined to score 19 points on the perimeter, and 10 different Laney players scored. Tynes said she was encouraged by the offensive output given Laney’s recent offensive struggles.

“We talk a lot about our defense, but you’ve got to score,” Tynes said. “We’re getting the looks we want to get, but we’ve got to have the confidence to knock them down.”

Hoke County boys 69

Hoggard 57

Hoping for a puncher’s upset against Hoke County in the final six minutes on Monday, Hoggard got floored instead.

The Vikings were nursing a two-point lead in the final quarter against Hoke County before the Bucks ran off a 15-0 run to take control of the game and win, 69-57.

Hoke County tied the game with a pair of Tarique Thompson free throws, then surged ahead with back-to-back transition three-pointers by Juwane Harris. From there, the wind rushed out of Hoggard’s sails – the Vikings missed eight straight shots during the Hoke County run.

“We lost them on two possessions in a row,” Hoggard coach Brett Queen said. “I thought when the second three went in, that was the blow that sort of knocked us out.”

The Vikings were hoping to avenge an earlier loss to Hoke County in the Brogden Tournament finals in Wilmington, and Queen said the loss stung more because Hoggard executed its game plan to perfection until the final stretch.

“We followed our game plan about as well as we could have,” Queen said, “Until those two possessions.”

Trevor Singleton scored 19 points for Hoggard while Joe O’Donnell added 12. Thompson scored 17 to lead Hoke County.