SHERIDAN – Sheridan rallied from a 10-point deficit at halftime and sophomore Kadesha Cooper scored 29 points as the Lady Yellowjackets defeated the Watson Chapel Lady Wildcats 56-52 Monday night.
“That was a big win for us and against a great team and a great coach,” Sheridan head coach Brian Davenport said. “We had dropped two in a row, so this was a very important win for us.”
Chelsea Payne grabbed an offensive board and scored on the putback to give Watson Chapel a 43-34 lead to begin the fourth quarter.
From there, Sheridan went on a 10-0 run including eight points from Cooper. She nailed a three-pointer, a jump shot and completed a three-point play with about 4:15 left to give the Lady ’Jackets a one-point lead – their first lead of the game.
“We played a lot more aggressively offensively in the second half and we took care of the ball,” Davenport said. “Cooper stepped up huge tonight.
“I’ve been waiting for her to break out with a big game.”
Watson Chapel took the lead back with 3:54 left in the game when senior Kamera Bozeman made two free throws for a 45-44 lead.
Chapel tied it again at 48 after a basket from senior forward Chapel Jones and a free throw by Bozeman.
Sheridan took its final lead of the game when sophomore Brittany Johnson nailed a jumper inside the paint to give the Lady ’Jackets a 50-48 lead. Senior Josey Love made four crucial free throws with about 1:35 left in the game to seal the win.
Love finished with 11 points.
“The bench came in and did a super job,” Davenport said. “Our bench was really the key tonight. They stepped up and did some important things.
“It was a very big win for us this point in the season.”
Watson Chapel jumped on Sheridan in the first quarter, grabbing a 5-0 lead before Sheridan would get its first points. All five points came from Bozeman, including a couple of easy baskets underneath the goal.
“They did a great job of getting the ball inside in the first half,” Davenport said. “They just destroyed us inside.
“In the second half, we just had to make that adjustment of shutting that down and take our chances of getting beat from the outside.”
Davenport said even though they did some damage in the second half, it wasn’t as bad.
By the end of the first quarter, Watson Chapel led 21-9 and at half the Lady Wildcats had a 30-20 lead.
Bozeman scored 21 points to lead Watson Chapel and Payne contributed with 12 points.
Davenport hopes Cooper’s performance Tuesday will help her down the stretch once the team enters conference play.
“I told her I needed her to come out and perform consistently every night,” Davenport said. “She had a couple of good games earlier this season but then she kind of dipped a little bit.”
Davenport said he was proud to see her make big shots in a big game.
“It would have been different if it was some other situation, but she stepped up in a big game, and I think that is going to give her some confidence,” Davenport said. “Tonight, she showed herself and the rest of the fans her, that she is legitimate and one of the better sophomores in the state.”