The Kell Longhorns hosted the Jones County Greyhounds last night for an Elite 8 quarterfinal game. It was the final home game for the Ladies and they gave their home crowd quite a show, remaining unbeaten on the season and winning their 31st straight game. The win puts the Lady Longhorns into the Final Four semifinal round of the 5A state tournament.
In what has become a familiar refrain this season, the Longhorns beat the Greyhounds by double digits. Although they got off to a slow start in the first quarter, the girls responded in the second, knocking down three shots from behind the arc right before halftime. A 19-point second quarter put the Lady Longhorns in the driver’s seat with a 8-point lead at the intermission, 21-29.
During halftime, sophomore guard for the boys team, Scoota Henderson, was recognized for his recent accomplishment of surpassing 1000 career points. His coach, Jermaine Sellers, was on hand and had nothing but praise for Scoota and his team attitude. “He’s an awesome kid all around, on and off the court,” he said. “He’s humble and works hard and one of toughest competitors I’ve ever coached. He’s a pleasure to have in the program and we depend on his leadership.”
The girls came out from the break focused and ready to keep the momentum going in their direction. Although the Greyhounds came within four points in the middle of the fourth quarter, the Longhorns were never in any real danger of giving up the lead. They rebounded well, chose shots well, and defended well. They looked like a Final Four team, which is what they are, by ending the Greyhounds’ season with a final score of 54-64.
Head Coach Tony Ingle, who is generally reserved on the sidelines, was in competition-mode. “Our team responds in a positive way at just the right time,” he said. “I knew we needed to pick up our intensity because we were playing man-to-man, instead of pressing them defensively like we normally would, but still be aggressive. We don’t know yet who were are playing next, but we will prepare and try to improve every aspect of our game between now and then.” We now know that Kell will play Eagle’s Landing in the semifinals on Saturday (2/29/20) at Fort Valley State.
At 31-0, this team has yet to show many weaknesses. The only team that came close to beating them this season was region-rival Carrollton. Eagle’s Landing is ranked 4th in 5A and Kell is ranked 2nd. It will be great game. The Longhorn boys play their quarterfinal Elite 8 game tonight (2/26) at Buford. Go Longhorns!