Girls basketball: Early treys lift Allen East past Perry

Feb. 3—HARROD — Perry's girls basketball team experimented with a new zone defense Saturday afternoon against Allen East, daring the Mustangs to shoot the long ball.

Challenge accepted; mission accomplished.

Allen East hit six 3-pointers in the opening quarter and used their signature tough defense to keep Perry from coming back in a 58-32 victory.

"We definitely started off super strong, but then we started to settle for threes that weren't falling," said Rilynn Jones, who had 10 of her game-high 28 points in the first quarter, including back-to-back 3-pointers. "Then we had to take it to the hole."

The Mustangs (16-2) hit 40% from 3-point range and 62% overall from the field in the first quarter, when they jumped out to an 18-point lead, 24-6.

The Mustangs finished with eight 3-pointers in the game, led by Savanna Brooks' four treys.

To the credit of the Commodores, they didn't relent, eventually pulling back within seven points in the third quarter. Perry (13-5) scored the final nine points of the first half and the first two points in the second half to get within 31-24.

"We just put this new defense in for the beginning of the game, and we were still learning," Perry coach Ted Patton said. "I think in the second quarter and the start of the third quarter, we got a little more aggressive with it. I think it started working for us and got us back into the game. But, being behind, it's hard to come from behind and get a good team."

About that same time, the Mustangs started to feel a sense of urgency. Savana Brooks scored five of her 18 points in the third quarter, as Allen East put the game out of reach. In the fourth quarter, Jones added three of her five steals, scoring off two of them.

"We always have a struggle when we face scrappy teams," Brooks said. "Coming out strong was a big help against that."

Soraya Jackson had a team-high six rebounds for Allen East, which had a 17-11 defensive rebounding edge and kept Perry from shooting well, hitting just 29% of its shots, compared to the Mustangs' 49%.

Lexenna Lee led Perry with 11 points. Lee and teammate Meme Hall each had 16 rebounds, as Perry held a 13-7 offensive rebounding edge in the game.

Both coaches said the nonconference showdown between neighboring districts was a good tune-up for the upcoming tournament.

"We're preaching playoffs. Today, our motto was 'five games.' It's going to take us five games to get to Dayton," Allen East coach Aaron Montgomery said. "We know we have the record for wins in the season on the horizon. We have all those different accolades. I think our girls are looking forward to the playoffs.

"We've got to take care of some business in the regular reason and really make a few minor tweaks. We've got time. Games are the best place to do it."

Patton said he appreciated the opportunity to work out some glitches against "a very good team" like Allen East.

"This is a great game to schedule late in the season like this, going into the tournament," Patton said. "I really think it's going to help us a tremendous amount. We found some weaknesses on our team that sometimes you don't see unless you play this caliber of a team. So yeah, I think it's going to help us a tremendous amount."

Allen East 58, Perry 32

Perry 11 11 3 7 — 32

Allen East 24 7 11 16 — 58


LeLe Luster 3, Zy Scott 1, Carlee Dalton 3, Ty Gordon 2, Alana Pernell 8, Mary Hoersten 4, Lexenna Lee 11. Totals: 10-12 — 32.


Savana Brooks 18, Rilynn Jones 28, Aubrey Young 2, Soraya Jackson 2, Skylar Benson 2, Ella Miller 3, Taylor Nickles 0, Evelyn Lehman 3. Totals: 21- 8- 58.

3-pointers: P-None; AE-Brooks 4, Jones 2, Lehman 1, Miller 1.

Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.