ACKERMAN – If Ackerman's Friday night boys basketball game against Williams Sullivan was a horse race, the Yellowjackets were coming down the homestretch before the Indians could even get out of the starting gate.
Williams Sullivan began the game on a 29-1 run and never looked back, throttling Ackerman 71-25 in a contest that opened up Class 2A, Region 4 play for both schools.
"They were fast," said Indians head coach Gary Beals of his opposition. "That's a basketball school and they've got quickness and better athletes."
From the time Williams Sullivan senior guard Sherdell Kimbrough tallied the night's first points with a three-pointer just seconds after the opening tip, Ackerman couldn't slow down the Yellowjackets.
The Indians (2-9, 0-1) tallied just three total first quarter points with all three coming from the free-throw line.
Williams Sullivan (10-5, 1-0) stuttered just a bit in the second quarter as Ackerman rebounded to outscore the Yellowjackets 20-18 in the period, but the Indians mustered just two total points in the second half against a team that seemingly refused to show remorse.
"I just told the guys not to reinforce any bad habits," said Williams Sullivan head coach Habray Carter. "I help them to understand that no game is over until the whistle blows and I tell them that they have young guys playing behind them that will give me maximum effort if they don't."
Kimbrough led the Yellowjackets with a game-high 16 points.
The Indians were led in scoring by Spencer James' eight points.
Matthew Davis and Quincy Cole each put up six-point performances for Ackerman.
For Beals and the Indians, the loss came just 24 hours after an uplifting win against Choctaw County rival Weir.
"They had a big win (Thursday) and were all excited, but they understand where we're at," said Beals. "I just told them that we've got to just get better. We've got a young ballclub and just have to keep getting better and keep fighting."
Williams Sullivan 60
ACKERMAN – Williams Sullivan's Akia Washington and Shanise Griffin kept sinking shots Friday night against Ackerman.
The Lady Indians couldn't find the same luck.
Ackerman shot just 13-of-49 from the field and just 2-of-13 from three-point range in a 21-point loss to the Lady Jackets.
The contest was the Class 2A, Region 4 opener for both teams.
"They gave me everything they had," said Beals, also the head coach of the Lady Indians. "There's just some things that we've got to improve on."
Williams Sullivan (10-5, 1-0) doubled up the Lady Indians before halftime, as Ackerman (5-6, 0-2) trailed 32-16 at the intermission.
Beals said his club's slow start was perhaps caused by their opposition's late arrival.
In a game scheduled for a 6 p.m. start, Williams Sullivan arrived to the gym late causing the opening tip to be pushed back 20 minutes.
In the meantime, the Lady Indians were forced to expend extra energy as they shot around to stay loose.
"We had to wait and that kind of bothered us a little bit," said Beals. "And (Williams Sullivan) is pretty athletic, too."
Washington scored a game-high 20 points for Williams Sullivan, followed by Griffin's 17.
Carmen Long was the lone Lady Indian to score in double figures, tallying 16 points.
Iasia Lee added nine points and Andrea Cutts scored eight for Ackerman.
"We're getting there, we're just trying to get better," said Beals.