Thursday, December 14, 2006

SPORTS>> Beebe gets by Clinton for first win this season

Leader sportswriter

Beebe split a pair of nonconference games with Clinton on the road Tuesday night. The Lady Badgers erased a 12-point halftime deficit down to four points late in the fourth quarter, but could not overtake the Lady Yellowjackets in the final moments of the 45-40 loss. The Badgers took off to an early lead in the boys contest, and held on to it throughout the duration of the game to take their first win of the season 59-41.

Beebe dominated the boards in the game, out rebounding the Yellowjackets on both ends of the court. Badgers coach Chris Ellis said rebounding was a key component of the decisive win, along with their strongest defensive effort of the year. “I thought the whole team did a great job on defense and with our rebounding,” Ellis said. “We protected the ball better in this game than we have before. We came out and played well in the first quarter, and we were able to maintain that through the third quarter. It was just a solid game for us.”

Jordan Geirach led all scorers for the Badgers with 20 points. Charlie Spakes added 14 points, and Colby Daly finished with 12 points. Now with a 1-3 record, Ellis says the team can stop worrying about getting that initial win, and focus on using the victory for added momentum. “Any win is a good win,” Ellis said. “Winning makes practice better, it gives you motivation. It boosts your team up and raises the level of excitement.”

The Lady Badgers also had plenty of excitement in their matchup with Clinton, but the Lady Yellowjackets held on after losing the momentum to Beebe in the second half. The Lady ‘Jackets built up a 30-18 lead by halftime, but the Lady Badgers came out determined to make up the deficit in the third quarter. They held Clinton to only five points in the period, while tacking on 12 points of their own. By the end of the third frame, Beebe cut the lead down to only 35-30.

The Lady Badgers cut it down to four in the final minutes of the game, but three straight turnovers that could have potentially gained them the lead proved devastating. A Clinton three-pointer in the final minute erased any opportunity for the Lady Badgers to post a comeback, putting their season record at 2-2.

“We didn’t play very well,” Lady Badgers coach Lora Jackson said. “We made a good run there in the third quarter, but we had a lot of breakdowns. I think our youthfulness still shows up on a lot of occasions. We have to do better with our half court offense, and spread the ball around a little better. Sophomores Neisha Upchurch and Ty O’Neil led the Lady Badgers in scoring for the game. Upchurch finished with 14 points, followed by O’Neil with 13 points. Beebe played Lonoke last night after Leader deadlines.