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Munford Lady Cougars avoid upset, defeat Brighton

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Munford's Kierra Richarson gets tangled up with Brighton's Kaeyln Forbess (22) and Lilly Hill during District 13-AAA action Friday night in Munford. Richardson led a third quarter surge to help Munford prevent an upset and prevail, 48-43. Photo by Jeff

After talking to the head coaches following Friday night's District 13-AA girls basketball game between Munford and Brighton, one would have thought the Lady Cardinals had won. 

Munford won at home 48-43, but Munford head coach Steve Poindexter was not happy with his team's performance, while Brighton's Kent Cates was pleased with the way his young team played against the two-time defending district champs. 

“They wanted to win more than we did,” said Poindexter, whose team improved to 11-6 overall and 1-1 in district play. “That's it. I don't think our team is anywhere in the vicinity of being good enough to overlook anybody. I hope that wasn't the problem.”

Brighton (1-15, 0-2) got a bucket from MaKayla Rose in the opening minute of the third quarter to give the Lady Cardinals a 24-21 lead and their appeared to be an upset brewing. 

But Munford answered with a 22-2 run and Brighton never got closer than 10 points until the final two minutes of the game. 

Kierra Richardson led the charge for Munford. 

She hit three 3-pointers during the run and also scored a bucket after a steal. She made five 3-pointers for the game and finished with a game-high 26. 

Phenecia Howard, who finished with nine points, converted a three-point play midway through the run. 

Shayna Johnson supplied most of the offense for the Lady Cardinals, making two 3-pointers in the second quarter and two more in the fourth. 

Coming out of a timeout with 2:33 left in the game and Brighton trailing by 10, Cates called a play for Johnson to take a 3-pointer. She got a pretty good look, but the ball rimmed out and Munford held on down the stretch. 

Danielle Collins added nine points for Brighton. 

“I was happy with our defense,” Cates said. “We played well the first, second and fourth quarters, but had a bad third quarter. It seemed like every break went to them, every tipped ball out of bounds seemed to go to them. I think if we would have gotten a few of those breaks earlier, we could have had a bigger lead.”

After a three-game losing streak in mid-December, the Lady Cougars have won six of their last seven games. 

But Poindexter believes his team has a lot of improving to do. 

“The third quarter was the only quarter of the game where I recognized the team on the floor for me,” he said. “The other three? I don't who that was, but that's not Munford. Right now I just don't know how tough were are mentally.”

In other action: 

• Munford overcame a first-quarter deficit Saturday night in Brownsville to defeat Haywood 46-39. 

The Lady Cougars trailed 13-11 after one period, but won the second quarter 12-4 and never trailed again. 

Lindsey Owen led Munford with 14 points, including eight in the second half. Howard added 10 and Richardson and Alex Wherry each chipped in with nine. 

Summer Cunningham kept Haywood in the game early. She scored 11 points in the first quarter and 14 in the second half to finish with game-high 25. 

• The Lady Cougars moved to 12-6 with a 41-34 home win over Bolton on Monday. 

Richardson led Munford with 13 points and Owen added 11. 

• Brighton traveled to St. Agnes on Monday and lost 53-32. Rose led the Lady Cardinals with nine points. Jada Johnson and Danielle Collins scored eight points each and Shayna Johnson added seven. 


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