Girls' 43rd: Lafayette defends district title with 66-46 win over Dunbar

mfields@herald-leader.comFebruary 28, 2014 

Just like last year, Lafayette's girls beat Paul Laurence Dunbar in the 43rd District finals Friday night, and just like last year the Generals will be one of the favorites in the 11th Region tournament.

But they were region runners-up to Madison Central last March, so they want to do a rewrite this time around as they chase the program's first region title since 1984.

"We want to change the script in the region," Coach Allison Denton said after the Generals rolled by host Dunbar 66-46. "But I don't have to motivate these girls on that.

"This is the first team I've had that's been on a mission and I haven't had to push anybody, or persuade anybody to do anything.

"It's a pure delight to watch them play."

Lafayette showed its stuff in beating Dunbar, even though 6-foot-3 junior Ashanti Thomas and 6-0 senior Sarah Cooley were limited by foul trouble.

Dee Givens and Kiara Pankins carried the load offensively and on the boards.

Givens, a 5-11 junior who has college offers from Cincinnati and WKU, had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals. Pankins, a 5-11 freshman, had 23 points, including 11 of 12 free throws, and eight rebounds.

Ken'yale Demus had seven points and Cooley added six points and six rebounds.

Lafayette's defense kept Dunbar's three-point shooting in check. The Bulldogs were 4-for-18 from long range. Shakeema Jackson, Dunbar's three-point ace, was 2-for-10. She had six points.

Brooke Todd, a 6-2 senior, got 18 points, most of them coming on put-backs, and 14 rebounds. Ezzy Ighodaro added 10 points.

Givens said Lafayette accomplished most of its defensive goals.

"We wanted to keep them from shooting threes and keep them from penetrating and getting the ball to Brooke," she said. "We did a pretty good job on both."

Dunbar Coach Sarah Bridenbaugh credited the Generals' defense.

"They got us out of what we wanted to do," she said. "Their length bothered us, and Givens had an excellent game, scoring and those seven steals.

"They're a great team. In my mind, they're the team to beat (in the region)."

The region tournament is scheduled to start Monday at the Frankfort Convention Center. Pairings will be drawn Saturday morning.

Lafayette 66, Paul Dunbar 46

PAUL DUNBAR (23-7) — Ighodaro 10, Todd 18, Jackson 10, Rosen 6, Armstrong 2.

LAFAYETTE (24-3) — Givens 28, Pankins 23, K.Demus 7, Cooley 6, S.Demus 2.

Dunbar 7 17 9 13—46

Lafayette 12 22 14 18—66

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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