Cougars sweep Gators

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

FLOWOOD — A malfunction kept Northwest Rankin’s scoreboard from working Tuesday night.

As far as the Vicksburg Missy Gators were concerned, it might not have been a bad thing.

Alexa Johnston and Amira Griffin each had a hat trick by halftime, and Northwest Rankin scored seven times in the first half on its way to an 8-0 rout of Vicksburg. The Lady Cougars outshot the Missy Gators 35-0 and rarely let them beyond the midfield stripe.

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Goalkeeper Torrie Hayden had 24 saves for Vicksburg (4-4), against a large volume of shots.

Johnston scored less than five minutes into the game and Griffin made it 2-0 at the 14-minute mark. Then Northwest Rankin (7-1-1) poured it on, scoring five times in the last 16 minutes of the first half. Lanie Little capped the barrage with a goal in the 35th minute.

“Yes, they are better than us. They’re more skilled, they are faster than us. But we did not play great that first half at all. We weren’t hustling, and once they scored a couple of goals on us, we just gave up,” Vicksburg coach Kori Babb said. “We didn’t practice over Thanksgiving, except for Sunday. We didn’t play or practice (Monday). So I didn’t expect it to be super great. But it could’ve been better than what it was, as you saw in the second half.”

A few defensive adjustments by Babb and liberal substitutions by Northwest Rankin coach Montgomery Hinton kept the score from getting much worse in the second half. Seventh-grader Kelby Zendejas had the only goal.

Babb said she was happy with how her team regrouped and gave a better effort after halftime.

“I was looking for effort, for sure, and them being aggressive. The first half, I didn’t see it. The second half it looked a lot better. We

actually tried to get in position, we marked up better, and we had some more confidence with T.T. (Tabitha Hayden) back there at sweeper,” Babb said.