Wednesday, January 23, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bison win three in as many days

Leader sportswriter

Last week was a busy one for the Carlisle Lady Bison as they played three games in three days and won all three.

On Thursday the Lady Bison beat rival Des Arc in a 2A-6 Conference game and on Friday they beat Brinkley 40-33 to improve to 8-2 in conference.

The win on Friday avenged a loss earlier in the season to the Lady Tigers, and on Saturday the Lady Bison got a hard-fought 49-40 win over Conway St. Joseph in a tough nonconference game at Bison Arena.

“We’ve played three days in a row,” said Lady Bison coach Jonathan Buffalo. “We played a make-up with Des Arc and we were able to do pretty much what we wanted in that game. We had a more physical game Friday night with Brinkley. They beat us at their place by 10. So that was a big game for us.

“We matched their intensity and were able to come out with a seven-point win. And tonight, against a team that is consistently good and consistently competitive, always there around the end in the regional and state tournament. That was a quality win for our basketball team.”

In Saturday’s game, Carlisle narrowly led Conway St. Joseph 10-9 near the end of the first quarter, but Sloane Henderson came off the bench and scored the last four points of the frame to give the Lady Bison a 14-9 lead.

Carlisle carried that momentum into the second quarter and built a 22-11 lead over the Lady Bulldogs after starting the quarter with an 8-2 scoring run, but by the end of the half Conway St. Joseph (11-11, 4-1) cut the Lady Bison lead to 22-18.

The third quarter was similar to the second as Carlisle opened with a 5-1 run, capped off by a pair of free throws by Faith Walker with 4:19 to play in the quarter.

The Lady Bison led 29-21 midway through the frame, but Conway St. Joseph trimmed the deficit to three points as the quarter wound down. How-ever, Carlisle’s senior two-guard Callie Hillman drained a three pointer and junior post player Breanna Young scored on a rebound and putback to give the Lady Bison a 35-27 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

The Lady Bison pushed their lead to double digits early in the fourth and maintained that lead for the majority of the period. Just before the buzzer sounded, Conway St. Joseph’s Taylor Welch hit a three to cut the final score to single digits.

The Lady Bison continue to control their own destiny. If they win their final four conference games, they’ll lock up the conference championship, a feat they were unable to accomplish a year ago.

“We have four games left,” Buffalo said. “Four conference games and I told them we have to get better every day at every aspect of the game. We have to get better handling the basketball. We have to get better as far as shot selection in certain situations. There’s always room for improvement.

“We’re in the home stretch. We’re 12-7 (overall), 8-2 in the conference, sitting tied for first place. So we’re in control of our own destiny. We win the next four and we win a conference championship.”

Walker led all scorers with 12 points. She also grabbed seven rebounds. Young finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Hillman scored nine points and Henderson added eight.