Laurel girls point guard Beverly Tillman shoots a jumper vs. NEJ Thursday night.

In Laurel's first two games this season, even in its 46-38 win over Bay Springs, head coach Sherri Cooley saw something missing. She addressed her concerns with the team before Thursday night's hardwood match against county-rival Northeast Jones.

“I needed them to show more energy,” said Cooley. “We have not shown that in our first couple of games. So that’s what we talked about before the game. I told the girls that it’s going to start on the defensive side of the court. And if you do that, it will turn into offense.”

The Lady Tornadoes heeded the call to action, defeating the Lady Tigers 60-28 Thursday night inside Tigers Gymnasium.

“Our girls came out and did what we asked them to do,” said Cooley. “We jumped out early and showed a lot of energy, especially on the defensive end [of the court]. And it turned into points for us.”

Laurel led with a 6-0 run in the first period and followed it with a 7-0 run to begin the second. Fast starts in each of the quarters led to lead in which Northeast Jones couldn't recover from.

"Those runs were big," Cooley said. "Because, as I mentioned, I was disappointed in our girls' effort in our first two ball games. But tonight, they came out early and did what we asked."

In all periods Thursday night, Laurel outscored Northeast Jones - also holding the Lady Tigers under double-digits in each of the four periods.

Eight Lady Tornadoes scored baskets in the win. Two, India Singleton and Mkya Frazier, finished in double-digits. Singleton led the team with 12, while Frazier netted 10.

“[Having several different girls scoring tonight] was big too,” said Cooley. “We needed more production out of our bench players, and I think this game gave them confidence. And that is what they needed. They were able to get some time on the floor and get some points off turnovers.”

Laurel improves to 2-1 on the season, while Northeast Jones falls to 1-2.

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