By JOEL COLEMAN
MABEN – As good as Shamia Robinson is, her supporting cast of West Oktibbeha Lady Timberwolves are starting to make names for themselves.
Robinson and Jaslyne Bedford each recorded double-doubles as the Lady Timberwolves won their seventh-straight game with a 61-53 victory over West Lowndes Saturday at the West Oktibbeha Christmas Classic.
Robinson, who again came off the bench on Saturday as she slowly makes her return from knee surgery, scored 13 points and hauled in 14 rebounds for the Lady Timberwolves who improved to 10-6 overall and 2-0 over the course of the Christmas Classic.
Still, the bigger story may have been the play of Bedford, Brenesha Brownlee, and Brittany Jones.
Bedford tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds, Brownlee also scored 17 and Jones put up 10 for streaking West Oktibbeha.
"(Bedford and Jones) play a good two-man game," said Lady Timberwolves coach Kevin Bailey. "They feed off each other, they run good screens off each other. They've just got good communication and that helps out a lot."
The play of Bedford and Jones helped revive West Oktibbeha from some early doldrums.
After one quarter, West Lowndes (4-6) held an 8-5 advantage as both teams struggled to find offense.
Part of West Lowndes' problem was the defensive schemes of the Lady Timberwolves.
"We played good man-to-man defense tonight and looked good in our zone," said Bailey.
Still, even Bailey's team failed to make any sort of early charge.
"We must have been asleep or something," said Bailey. "We weren't moving, talking or communicating. Once we started communicating, we started picking things up."
By halftime, West Oktibbeha had taken control.
The Lady Timberwolves outscored the Lady Panthers 26-12 in the second period to take a 31-20 lead into the half.
"We started out very slow," said Bedford. "We should have come out of the locker room ready to go and didn't, but we picked it up."
Bedford herself was responsible for much of West Oktibbeha's scoring over the final three quarters, along with Brownlee and Jones.
With both Bedford and her teammates putting up performances like Saturday, Bedford says it lets the team know they have all the talent to succeed, even in the moments Robinson can't be on the floor.
"She's a good player and I love her to death, but I feel like we can do anything without her," said Bedford. "We could go to Jackson without her. Anything is possible without her."
East Oktibbeha 40
MABEN – East Oktibbeha girls basketball coach Randy Brooks made no secret of his feelings following the Lady Titans loss to Aberdeen Saturday at the West Oktibbeha Christmas Classic.
"I'm not pleased at all," said Brooks. "In a nutshell, we just didn't get it done. We didn't play good defense, we didn't take good shots and we didn't take care of the basketball."
East Oktibbeha (6-7) ended play in the Christmas Classic with a 1-2 mark following a Thursday loss to West Oktibbeha and a Friday win against West Lowndes.
Quanisha Doss scored 15 points to lead the Lady Titans.
Shondra Nichols added 14 points and Kelcie Lanier tallied 10 for East Oktibbeha on a night that saw the Lady Titans shoot just 21 percent from the floor.
Regina Barker set the tone for the Lady Bulldogs with a 22-point, 11-rebound performance.
Aberdeen (6-5) completed the Christmas Classic with a perfect 3-0 mark to take the event's girls title.
However, losing to the tournament's champions provided little consolation for Brooks.
"When you have people out there with no fouls on them and they've played a whole basketball game, that's telling me that you're not trying to get into the action and mix things up," said Brooks. "It's a lack of focus. We've got to get our focus back or some people won't be here. There will be some new faces in those uniforms."
East Oktibbeha actually held a 17-16 lead at halftime prior to being outscored by Aberdeen 34-23 after the intermission.
The Lady Titans were still within four points, down 44-40, with just 1 minute to play before a 6-0 Aberdeen run put the game away.
"East Oktibbeha is a tough team," said Aberdeen head coach Latorrence Bivens. "We knew they were going to be tough and were going to be aggressive. Playing our third game in three days was tough. We just had to make sure we had our legs and we just played through the elements."