Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SPORTS>>Chickasaws thump Badgers in opener

Special to The Leader

The Blytheville Chickasaws welcomed the Beebe Badgers to the 5A-East Conference by beating the Badgers 62-46 on Friday night.

Blytheville (7-3, 1-0) had leads of 10 or more throughout the game only to see the Badgers (10-3, 0-1) crawl back into it before the Chickasaws finally put them away late in the fourth quarter.

“I wasn’t pleased with how we let them back into the gametonight,” Chickasaw coach David Hixson said. “But then I thought we overcame that. A couple of good talking to’s during timeouts and they responded well.”

Blytheville led 12-10 after one quarter with Badger sharpshooter Devonte Young scoring all of Beebe’s points in the period.

The Chicks picked up the fullcourt pressure moments into the second quarter as they extended their lead to seven points.

Kyle Walker hit two consecutive shots to put the Chicks up 25-18 and Lavester Stone’s putback at the buzzer made it 27-20 at halftime.

Walker led the Chicks with 17 points and most came on mid-range jumpers, as Blytheville was able to break down the Beebe defense and find the open man.

“I think that’s one of our strengths right now,” Hixson said. “We do a good job of finding the open man and we were hitting our shots or getting them on the offensive rebounds.”

Blytheville came out with more full-court pressure to start the third period and expanded its lead. Walker’s free throws with 5:52 left in the period gave the Chicks a 35-22 lead.

Beebe’s Dayton Scott hit a three-pointer and Austin Benton converted a three-point play to cut Blytheville’s lead to 39-34 with under two minutes left in the period.

Jimmy Aldridge made another buzzer-beater at the end of the period to give the Chicks a 43-36 lead heading into the final quarter.

Beebe cut the lead to 50-44 early in the fourth on Young’s layup off of a steal with 4:43 left in the game.

Blytheville did not allow the Badgers another significant basket the rest of the way as Beebe’s shooters were off the mark and Blytheville corralled most of the rebounds.

“We wanted to just brush their shooters,” Hixson said.

“Contest the shots and then get the rebounds. I thought we did a good job of that tonight. We worked on that over the past few days of practice on just how important rebounding is because we’re usually not the biggest team out there.”

Blytheville scored the next 12 points and did not allow a Beebe basket until the closing moments.

Walker led the Chicks with 17 points, Stone added 12, Keandre Diamond scored 10 and Aldridge chipped in nine.

Young led all scores with 20 for Beebe and Scott added 12.