A fast start propelled the Corinth Holders girls basketball team to a win in the team’s home debut Tuesday as the Pirates raced past Southern Nash, 40-18.
At the wheel was senior guard Tajah Clark, who led Corinth Holders with 16 points and four steals and helped the team sprint to a 14-5 lead after just one quarter.
Clark, who missed all of last season due to injury, wasted no time in asserting herself as she controlled the first quarter, scoring the first two baskets in the opening minute of the game and laying the ball in just as time expired in the first period.
“She gets things going; she’s a fire starter defensively and offensively,” Corinth Holders coach Brandy Smith said of her senior guard. “Any time you have a player that can play both ends of the floor, can handle the ball, can orchestrate on the floor to get other people involved, that’s a plus for any basketball team.”
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The Pirates (2-0) were dominant on the defensive end of the court, often forcing the Firebirds into difficult shots and then, more often than not, corralling the rebounds and preventing Southern Nash from getting extra shots at the basket.
The Firebirds managed to make just six field goals for the entire game and turned the ball over 27 times.
“I’m satisfied with the defense; it was a plus to hold them to 18 points,” Smith said. “The biggest thing we preach in practice is defense and to make sure there’s a lot of pressure and hands in the face.”
Destiny Burgess led Southern Nash with eight points but Corinth Holders prevented anyone else from contributing much to the score sheet.
To compliment Clark, Holly Price turned in a workmanlike performance with eight points and seven rebounds and Khadijah Neal added five points and five rebounds.
As pleased as Smith was in her team’s fast start, she sees improvement to be made in closing out games. The Pirates began turning the ball over more frequently in the second half.
“Something we definitely have to fix is that second half play,” Smith said. “If we’re going to make a statement, we’ve got to finish that statement strong.”