Italy 8th graders open their basketball seasons against Red Oak life

Image: Perry Battles — Brianna Perry struggles for the ball under the goal.  Italy Junior High began their basketball season Monday night hosting Red Oak Life.

Perry Battles — Brianna Perry struggles for the ball under the goal. Italy Junior High began their basketball season Monday night hosting Red Oak Life. (Anne Sutherland)

8th grade girls – Italy led Red Oak Life 2-0 after Jameka Copeland scored off the opening tip-off. Brianna Perry added 2 more after receiving an inbound pass from Alyssa Richards as Italy climbed to a 4-0 lead. After back-to-back steals by Chante Birdsong, Jameka Copeland passed ahead to Paola Mata for an easy score increasing Italy’s lead to 6-0. Later, Jameka Copeland saves a ball into the hands of Brianna Perry who scores putting Italy out in front 8-0. Jameka gets a steal but Italy can’t convert it into points. ROL’s #15 got her team on the board with a shot in the lane. The score was now 8-2 at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter.

Alyssa Richards steals the ball and eventually adds to Italy’s lead 10-2. Alyssa Richards then gathers a loose ball in the lane and banks it in giving Italy a 12-2 advantage with 2:36 left in the first. ROL’s #44 hits a jumper from the left elbow making the score 12-4. Jameka Copeland again hits from the paint and the score is now 14-4. Brianna Burkhalter rips down a rebound but Italy comes away empty at the 1:43 mark. Katie Byers pressures the inbound pass and Chante Birdsong scoops-up the loose pass and lays it in giving Italy a 16-4 edge. Chante Birdsong steals the ball and hits a jumper as Italy now leads 18-4. An ROL free throw makes it 18-5. Katie Byers inbounds to Chante Birdsong who gets the bucket and the foul. After Chante Birdsong makes the free throw, Italy’s lead grows to 21-5 as the first period ends.

In the second period, Jameka Copeland passes to Alyssa Richards for a fast break layup. ROL’s #30 makes a bucket and score is 23-7 with 4:31 left before halftime. Jameka Copeland steals again and scores 2-points. Brianna Perry blocks a shot attempt by ROL and Jameka runs the fast break dishing to Paola Mata for a lay in. Paola Mata then steals the ball and delivers a running, one-handed bounce pass to Jameka Copeland on the right block for 2-points. Chante Birdsong goes 1 out of 2 from the charity stripe after being fouled and Italy’s lead is now 30-7 with 1:40 left. Chante Birdsong would get fouled in the process of shooting again and sink 1 out of 2 free throws giving Italy a commanding 31-7 lead as the half ends.

In the third, Alyssa Richards gets a block and Jameka Copeland lays one in as the score read 33-7. Alyssa Richards then scores on a swooping lay in followed by a driving layup by ROL’s #23. Jameka Copeland offers a sweet assist to Brianna Burkhalter who lays it in giving Italy a 37-9 lead at the 4:08 mark in the third.

Alyssa Richards passes to Lacie Lopez for 2 more points. ROL’s #45 catches Italy napping and takes the inbound pass and scores easy. Brianna Burkhalter adds 2-points for Italy and at 1:43 mark and the Italy girls led 41-11. Jameka Copeland then scored 4 straight points and Alyssa Richards added 2 more with Italy leading at the end of the third period 47-10.

After ROL scored 3 straight points in the fourth, Chante Birdsong rebounds and makes 2-points giving Italy a 49-13 lead with 2:42 left in the game. Italy would score 4 more points finishing off ROL 54-13.

Italy – scoring:

Jameka Copeland – 18
Chante Birdsong – 15
Alyssa Richards – 8
Brianna Perry – 5
Brianna Burkhalter – 4
Paola Mata – 4

8th grade boys – Red Oak Life scored on the opening tip-off and put in 11 straight points before Italy’s Cole Hopkins swished a 3-point bomb. ROL then score 6 more points before Tony Wooldridge made 1 of 2 after being fouled with :10 left in the first period. The score would be 17-4 with ROL leading going into the second period.

A Chase Hamilton block setup a driving layup by Tony Wooldridge making the score 17-6. ROL would earn 6 straight points again before Tony Wooldridge put in a, no-look, backwards layup while getting fouled. The free throw was good and the score was now 23-9. ROL would add another basket before the half ended with ROL leading 25-9.

ROL dominated the third period and increasing their lead 40-9. Tony Wooldridge would get fouled on a drive to the basket late in the period. Wooldridge made 1 out of 2 and the third ended with ROL in front 40-10.

The score was 46-10 when Reed Jacinto hit a swish shot from the baseline with 3:26 left in the game. However, ROL would score the final 6-points to win the contest 52-12.

Italy – scoring:

Tony Wooldridge led Italy with 7-points