Photo/James Pugh

The third period wasn’t exactly what Northeast Jones girls basketball coach Ebonie Jones wanted. Her Lady Tigers exhausted the first six minutes and 28 seconds without a basket. But the off-beat quarter wasn’t enough to cause major damage. Northeast Jones defeated West Lauderdale 52-26 inside Tigers Gymnasium Tuesday night and improved to 11-7 on the season, 7-2 in 5-4A. 

“Overall I’m satisfied,” said Jones of the win. “We’ve been struggling, and I don’t know if it was because of Senior Night, but our girls showed up and played well defensively. 

Even in the third, as the offense struggled to make shots, the Lady Tigers held West Lauderdale to just seven points, and that wasn’t even the lowest period of the night. In the first quarter, West Lauderdale ended the eight minutes with only four total points. 

Northeast Jones scored the game’s opening basket then continued to build its lead from there. 

“We stayed aggressive in our man-to-man press,” said Jones. “We were talking on screens, talking on cuts and getting around blocks every chance we got. We came out aggressively so I couldn’t ask for more.”

Ten players scored baskets in the win. Jones said that is something that must continue as district play draws nigh.

“That is always good,” said Jones. “When we can get people on our roster all scoring, that’s a good thing. Of course, everyone knows who our go-to girl (Gabby Bunch) is. But if they shut her down, we have to be about to have others to step up.”

Bunch finished with a team-high of 10 points. 

Northeast Jones will be a two-seed in the upcoming Region 5-4A basketball tournament.

“Northeast Lauderdale is in first right now,” said Jones. “And we’re a lock for second place. We’re just trying to battle through the rest of this week and finish this week out.”