Salem girls remain unbeaten with lopsided win

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

— The Thomson girl’s basketball team probably saw all it wanted to see of the freshman duo of Ayanna Mitchell and Shay Tarver. Mitchell had 22 points and six rebounds and Tarver added 13 points and four assists as the Seminoles remained unbeaten at 6-0 with a 59-24 victory Friday in Conyers.

Salem employed a stifling defense that forced 20 turnovers and held the Bulldogs to just nine made field goals.

"I believe (the win was) because we really clamped down defensively, it gives us those extra opportunities," Salem coach Rochone Dilligard said. "We really, really take pride in our defense. We talk a lot about extra possessions."

The Seminoles pulled away with a dominant second quarter. Mitchell, a stand out freshman wing player, poured in 12 of her 16 first-half points during a 23-5 run that turned a seven-point lead into a 37-14 advantage at halftime.

The one-sided affair continued in the third as Thomson (2-2) got only a three-pointer from Jadah Lawson,, who led the visitors from McDuffie County with six points, while Tarver had a conventional three-point play to make it 42-14 and Mitchell capped the scoring in the third with a bucket to push the lead to 50-17. While Mitchell led the way on the scoreboard, it was Tarver's ball-handling from the point guard position that allowed Salem to cruise for much of the second half and build a cushion as large as 38 points.

"(Tarver is) a very calming influence," Dilligard said. "She's a very steady point guard...our team, we feel a lot more calm with the ball in her hands."

Junior guard Nikkira Brown added 12 points for Salem.