THE COLONY – Not many teams in the area, if any, have a backcourt quite like what The Colony has in seniors Tamia Jones and Jewel Spear.
The dynamic duo has wreaked havoc throughout the first month of the season, as both players averaged over 20 points per game going into the Lady Cougars’ District 8-5A opener Tuesday night against Little Elm.
Jones and Spear did not skip a beat against the Lady Lobos, as they combined for 53 points in The Colony’s 69-52 victory over the Lady Lobos to start off district play on a high note.
“We knew [Jones and Spear] were going to be shooting from everywhere,” said Kristen Coffey, Little Elm head coach. “Our scouting report was about them shooting the 3-pointer and to just be ready for it. That was a lot of 3s, especially in the fourth quarter, and I’m proud of the way our kids responded against them.”
In fact, The Lady Cougars nailed five shots from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter alone, as Jones sunk a whopping eight 3-pointers altogether en route to a game-high 28 points. Overall, The Colony sunk 12 shots from downtown on the night.
After Little Elm took a brief lead at 44-43 in the opening moments of the fourth on a bucket by junior guard Selena Johnson, Jones splashed in back-to-back triples to give her squad a commanding 49-44 advantage it would not relinquish.
Following a short rally by the Lady Lobos, Spear, a Wake Forest commit, put the game away with 11 makes from the charity stripe down the stretch to secure the win and finish with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
“The pace started out too slow and we were too tight,” said Colby Pastusek, The Colony head coach. “We came out in the second half trying to press and get the tempo to the style we like to play. Then Jones got loose a little bit and really started filling it up and that was huge.
“And the good thing about [Spear] is she can score in a variety of different ways. Even if she isn’t shooting the ball from deep like she normally does, she can rebound the ball and get to the free-throw line.”
Little Elm came out firing on all cylinders to begin this contest and certainly did not play early on like a team that was blown out by the Lady Cougars twice last season.
The Lady Lobos kicked things off with an impressive 11-3 lead thanks to an 8-0 run by senior forward Kennadi Harris. Her valiant efforts weren’t done there, as the senior leader got her team back in the ball game early in the second quarter after a 6-0 run by Spear had given The Colony its largest lead of the night up until that point at 23-18.
That’s when Harris scored on a nifty and-one before freshman point guard Amarachi Kimpson came alive with six of her team-high 17 points in the final moments of the half, including a buzzer-beater to take a 31-30 lead going into the locker rooms.
“We know people are looking for [Kimpson] to be our main scorer, so we challenged them that someone has to step up a little bit,” Coffey said. “Sometimes it may be about getting those silly rebounds and get a put-back, and [Harris] stepping up for early there was huge.”
Despite Jones and Spear heating up and accounting for 11 of The Colony’s 13 third-quarter points, Kimpson and Co. wouldn’t go away and forced two ties and five lead changes in the frame.
And although the final score showed to be a double-digit triumph for the home team, the Lady Lobos fell victim to a barrage of 3-pointers and free throws, showing they are capable of hanging with a team that very well may win 8-5A when it’s all said and done.
“This is the best team they have had in three years,” Pastusek said. “They play well together and their freshman is legit, and she can really fill it up. They are much improved, and I expect those guys to be a playoff team.”