No. 10 Harris County girls not hampered by its youth

ajc.com

Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

The Harris County Tigers, despite having only two seniors on the roster, have played beyond their experience level this season and continue to follow a pattern of excellence established by coach Steffanie Ramsey.

Despite having its10-game winning streak broken on Tuesday at McIntosh, Harris County can take a big step toward winning the Region 3 championship with a victory on Friday against Northgate. Harris County (17-3, 4-1) has a one-game lead over Northgate and Northside-Columbus. Harris County defeated Northgate 47-45 on Jan. 18.

No. 10-ranked Harris County has been a model of consistency over the last decade. Since 2016 the Tigers have averaged 19.2 wins and have won no fewer than 15. Their 2018 team went 28-3 and reached the state semifinals.

“We’re a young team and we’re missing a little bit of that experience, that leadership, but my kids have played hard,” Ramsey said. “We had a bad night on Tuesday, but they do play hard for me. I don’t think my kids realize how talented they are yet. They’re so young, I don’t think they realize they’re actually a good group. They just go out and play.”

In the loss to McIntosh, Harris County fell behind thanks to a miserable first quarter when it trailed 14-4. Although the Tiger got as close as six points in the four quarter, its comeback fell short. Harris County shot the ball poorly, had too many turnovers and missed 14 free throws.

“It was just one of those days,” Ramsey said. “It happens sometimes and we’ve just to respond on Friday.”

The team’s leader is senior Brooke Bass, a four-year starter who averages 16.5 points.

“She’s a kid who wants the ball and doesn’t mind taking the shot,” Ramsey said. “On Tuesday she was able to find a look here or there that nobody else could. She gave us a chance to fight back into the game.”

Junior Ja’Niya Broome averages 14.9 points and 7.4 rebounds and sophomore Allana Coulter averages 9.5 points and 10.8 rebounds. Junior Shamari Smith, a defensive whiz, and sophomores Kyndle Robinson and Madelynn McCauley are other key contributors.

“That first group can do quite a few things,” Ramsey said.

While the young Tigers may have surprised some people early, Ramsey said that is no longer a factor.

“I don’t think we’re going to surprise anybody. I think people kind of expect this,” Ramsey said. “They know me and they know I’m going to coach my girls from start to finish whether we’re up 40 or down 40. I’m going to try to bring out the best of them and compete.”

Northgate (15-7, 4-2) was beaten by Northside-Columbus on Tuesday and finishes the season with home games against Harris County and Drew. The Vikings can’t afford a loss if they want to at least share a piece of the region championship.

Coach Alicia Sands’ team features the one-two punch of junior DeAsia Stinson (15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds) and senior Randria Wilcher (14.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 steals).

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