The L.C. Bird Skyhawks boys and girls basketball teams both faced Dominion rival Cosby on Friday. Both teams came into the double-header undefeated, and both teams left that way too as the girls defeated Cosby in overtime 63-54 and the boys cruised to a 76-46 in a blowout.
Over the course of the girls game, Bird was able to take a couple of double-digit leads, but Cosby was able to chip away at each one. In the fourth, the game became a nip-and-tuck affair and Cosby took the lead 48-46 on a three-pointer by sophomore Madi Conyers, but Bird would answer on a pair of free throws by freshman Taja Cole to tie the game at 48 with 1:33 left.
“Taja is an awesome freshman,” said head coach Chevette Waller. “She does some things that we don’t expect an inexperienced player to do well, and then she makes some rookie mistakes, she’s learning well.”
In overtime, it was all Bird, as senior Porscha Walton and sophomore Quenswayla Story combined for 14 points in the period. Story also came up with a key block.
“We’re working hard on putting the pieces together,” said Waller. “Our team is balanced, we play defense inside and outside.”
Cole led Bird’s scoring with 17 points to go with six rebounds and five assists, and Story recorded a double-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Adriane Vaughan led the way for the Titans with 17 points and 10 assists.
Bird’s boys seemed to be on a calm, confident cruise control the entire night and used a balanced attack as they rolled to a 30-point victory.
“Robert Johnson scores the ball well, Christian Smith does a good job scoring,” said head coach Troy Manns. “Everything we do is based off defense, if we defend we score, and then we can ride the hot hand; we don’t intentionally get the ball to anyone more than anyone else.”
The Skyhawks played to a 39-17 halftime lead, off the strength of 13 first-half points by Smith and 10 first-half points by Johnson.
In the second half, the lead continued to open up, as Smith was able to throw down a couple of dunks, and the combination of Smith and Johnson cruised to combine for 50 points. Johnson led all scorers in the game with 29 points. Smith finished the game with 21 points to go with nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Point guard Harvey Freeman dished out seven assists.
The boys will be in action next against Thomas Jefferson on Friday in the Times-Dispatch Tournament, and the girls will have some time off, as they won’t tip off again until December 27, when they host Meadowbrook as a part of a holiday tournament hosted at L.C. Bird high school.