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Slow start hinders Heritage
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A slow moving first half for the Heritage girls varsity basketball team led to a 49-32 home loss for the Lady Patriots Friday night to Loganville.

The Lady Patriots were held scoreless in the first quarter as the Lady Red Devils built up a 9-0 lead, and Loganville’s early defensive effort was too much to overcome in the Lady Patriots’ late comeback bid.

Loganville’s size bothered the Lady Patriots on both sides of the court, as the Lady Red Devils helped their way to offensive rebound after offensive rebound off the glass.

Heritage coach Lauren Chambers said that the bodies Loganville was able to throw at the Lady Patriots over time wore them down.

“When some of our bigger players are out, giving up those offensive rebounds can really hurt,” she said. “Going into it, we wanted Loganville to be one-and-done on the offensive side of the court, and that wasn’t the case tonight. They did well on the offensive boards and that hurt us. We wanted to limit that, but we weren’t able to tonight. We didn’t play that bad defensively, we just got tired. We don’t have all of the bodies we need and they were able to wear us down. It wasn’t our night.”

After failing to score in the first quarter, the Lady Patriots held their own in the second period. Loganville outscored Heritage 10-9 in the quarter, with all nine of the Lady Patriots’ points coming from guard Damali Thomas. Thomas nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing with 53 seconds to go in the half, cutting the Lady Red Devils’ advantage to 19-9 at the break.

Heritage was held to just eight points in the third quarter, with four players scoring in the frame. Loganville extended its lead to 34-15 with a minute to go in the period on a Kelly Ackerman 3-pointer, but Akila Murray scored with 30 seconds to go in the quarter on a layup to send the Lady Patriots down 36-17 to the fourth quarter.

While the Lady Patriots’ scoring was limited in the period, their transition game showed signs of life in the third, scoring six points with their fastbreak offense.

“We’re continuing to work on our press and on our offensive transition game and you could see some of it tonight,” Chambers said. “Loganville did a good job of handling our presses, and eventually our legs gave out on us. It’s going to take time. We have two players just returning from injury and they need to get back into game shape, so I think we will be better conditioned a little later down the road.”

Loganville extended its lead to as many as 23 in the final quarter of play, besting the Lady Patriots by a 49-32 final after Ewanna Brown hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Heritage.

Thomas finished as the Lady Patriots’ leading scorer with 17 points, while Shaq Bimpa paced the Lady Red Devils with 12 points in the win.

The Lady Patriots return to action Dec. 10 on the road against Gainesville at 6 p.m.