Wildcats dominate Cordova in opener

Shelby County High School senior Aulicia Nunn lays one in during the Wildcats' season opener against Cordova High School Nov. 8. (Reporter Photo /Kala Bolton)

By KALA BOLTON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY — The Shelby County High School girls’ basketball team started the season off right with a dominating 65-21 win over the Cordova Blue Devils Nov. 8 at Oak Mountains Tip-off at the Mountain.

“We could have done better,” Wildcats senior Aulicia Nunn said. “Once we get through these next two games, we’ll be more comfortable and better.”

It took the Wildcats (1-0) some time to find their rhythm as a few minutes passed in the first quarter with the scoreboard remaining blank, but one they got into it, Shelby County surged to a 13-0 lead thanks to shots from Nunn, sophomore Tempest Cantrell, junior Hallie Brown and sophomore Amber Johnson.

The Blue Devils sunk their first basket with 2:14 remaining in the first quarter, but struggled to find consistency as the Wildcats’ aggressive defense kept them far from the hoop.

Shelby County scored 12 unanswered points to start the second quarter, and Nunn sunk four uncontested layups in a row to to close out the first half with the Wildcats leading 39-8.

It didn’t get much better for Cordova coming out of the locker room as junior Jasmyn Buie sunk a jumper to start the second half for Shelby County. The Wildcats kept up the aggressive play, extending their lead throughout the third. A steal and assist by senior Ashley Mizzell set up a Brown layup before Shelby County began to wind down the clock late in the fourth quarter. While clinching a 63-21 lead with just moments left in play, Mizzell sunk a jumper to seal the win for her Wildcats.

Nunn lead the team with 26 points on the night. Johnson totaled eight points and sophomore Keyanna Gayden added six.

Looking ahead towards the season, the Wildcats are looking to find consistency and capitalize on the positives they showed against Cordova.

“Offensive-wise, we just need to continue moving the ball around, making good passing decisions, seeing the court,” head coach Brandi Steed said. “Defensive-wise, just making sure we’re boxed out, getting big under the basket and pulling in all the rebounds. Our goal every year is to get 20 wins. At our high school, 20 wins gets your picture on the wall, so that’s what they’re always wanting.”