By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Sandiettes have a new look this year and it appears to be paying dividends. The Sandiettes basketball team is using a strong defense to go along with a fast paced transition game to score points.

Grapeland’s high intensity game was on display during Friday night’s game against their cross-county rivals, the Lovelady Lady Lions. The Sandiettes raced out to a double digit first quarter lead, ratcheted up their defense in the fourth and captured a hard fought 47-34 win over the Lady Lions.

The game started with
the Sandiettes challenging every Lovelady possession and creating turnover after turnover as they raced out to a 22-9 first quarter lead. Tatiyanna Bowie led the wat with eight points in the paints while Kenya Woods knocked down six. Hannah Chipman dropped in five and KeKe Harris chipped in two for Grapeland.

The Lady Lions were led by Kaiden LeMaire with six points while Madelyn James had two and Hannah Burleson converted one of two from the free throw line.

The Lady Lions seemed to figure out the Grapeland press in the second quarter and cut the lead to four as the two teams headed into halftime. The Sandiettes were held to four points in the second period on a here from Ragan Bowie and one of two from the line from Chipman.

Lovelady saw a bevy of players score as the Lady Lions whittled the lead down to 26-22. Burleson netted four points in the quarter while Sydney Shoemaker dropped one in from behind the arc. LeMaire added two points to her total while Emily McClure and Jala Rollo also chipped in a bucket.

The Sandiettes cold shooting from the field continued after halftime as they only managed seven points in the third quarter. R. Bowie hit her second three of the game while T. Bowie and DeDe McKnight both scored two.

The Lady Lions shaved another point off the Grapeland lead in the third to make the score 33-30 with eight minutes left to play. LeMaire, Rollo, Anayshia Mitchell and Sarah Thompson all scored two to account for Lovelady’s eight third period points.

As the fourth quarter got underway, the Lady Lions managed to cut the Grapeland lead down to one. After Lovelady pulled to within a single point at 33-32, the Sandiettes turned up the heat on defense.

Following a two from LeMaire, the Sandiettes limited the Lady Lions to only four additional fourth quarter points on twos from Rollo and Thompson.

The increased defensive pressure created more shots and transition points for the Sandiettes as they pulled away down the stretch. R. Bowie hit a pair of three-pointers to lead the Sandiettes while Chipman added three points of her own. T. Bowie and Harris added two apiece while Woods made one of two free throws to help give the Sandiettes the 47-36 win.

On the game, the Lady Ions were led in scoring by Kaiden LeMaire with 12 points while Jala Rollo had six. Hannah Burleson went for five, Sarah Thompson had four and Sydney Shoemaker scored three. A trio of Lady Lions – Madelyn James, Emily McClure and Anayshia Mitchell – all had two to account for the Lovelady scoring.

The Sandiettes were led in scoring by Ragan Bowie and Tatiyanna Bowie with 12 each. Hannah Chipman netted nine points, Kenya Woods dropped in seven, KeKe Harris had four and DeDe McKnight chipped in three to round out the Grapeland scoring.

The Sandiettes were back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 17 as they hosted the Latexo Lady Tigers. As of press time however, the score was unavailable.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.