Jackets survive shaky fourth, top Thomasville

Lexington's Alexis Fowler (left) hauls in a defensive rebound in front of Thomasville's Megan Kinley during the second half of their game Tuesday night at Lexington. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

Not every team can commit 10 turnovers in the final period and still survive to win.

But that’s exactly what the Lexington girls’ basketball team did while pulling out a stunning 65-58 Central Carolina Conference victory over rival Thomasville on Tuesday night.

And the Jackets can thank their inside tandem of Jasmine Carter and Alexis Fowler for the help.

Carter, headed to College of Charleston next year, knocked down 26 points — including 12 in the pivotal third period — while Fowler added 18 more as Lexington improved to 3-2 in the CCC, 9-8 overall.

The Jackets trailed Thomasville 35-32 at the half, but then Carter took control of the game, scoring two baskets right away to open the third period.

Thomasville briefly rallied back to take a 41-38 lead, but then Lexington’s Emerson Hayes drained a critical 3-pointer to tie the game at 41-41.

Fowler followed with a basket inside to put the Jackets up 43-41, and then Carter knocked in a trey from downtown for a 46-41 edge.

By the time the period was over, Lexington held a 53-44 lead.

“We stressed how important the third quarter is,” said Lexington coach Lamont Johnson. “That’s when you make adjustments. I thought we handled ourselves pretty good.

“Jasmine was the leader tonight,” added Johnson. “She stepped up. And when she plays well, the other girls feed off her. She did a heckuva job tonight. If I can get that every night…”

But the Jackets almost handed it all right back, committing five turnovers in the opening two minutes of the fourth period as the Bulldogs closed to within 53-50 with 4:45 left to play.

But D’Necia Ausborne went coast-to-coast for a layup on Lexington’s next possession, then she followed that with a put-back off a rebound as Lexington rebuilt its advantage to 57-50.

From there, Carter and Fowler sealed the deal.

Johnson said he didn’t realize his team made 10 turnovers in the fourth quarter.

“Whew. I didn’t know we had that many. But sometimes you’re going to turn the ball over,” said Johnson. “I wish we didn’t turn it over that much, but we played through them.”

Interestingly enough, Lexington’s defense stiffened down the stretch, forcing the Bulldogs into seven straight misses on their last possession.

“I think probably Thomasville got out of sync a little bit,” said Johnson. “I think our 2-3 zone hurt them a little bit.”

Nevertheless, Thomasville, now 2-2 in the league, 9-4 overall, put four players in double figures, including Christine Coleman and Joslyn Spires with 15 each, while Joshanna Thomas and Timber Tate each had 10 points apiece.