Monday, December 23, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe ladies split pair at White Hall tourney

Leader sportswriter

The Lady Badgers finished 1-1 at the Relyance Bank Classic at White Hall on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Beebe beat Fordyce 62-53, but on Saturday, the Lady Badgers gave up a 10-point, fourth-quarter lead to lose 56-51 to Lake Hamilton.

At the end of the first quarter on Saturday, the game looked as if it could go either way as Lake Hamilton (4-2) narrowly led 11-10. Beebe (4-2), however, had the better showing in quarters three and four, and looked to be on its way to another win at the end of three.

Beebe led 26-19 at halftime, and 43-33 at the end of the third quarter. Lady Wolves center Kori Bullard, who’s being recruited by every university in the state other than the University of Arkansas, led a 6-0 run for Lake Hamilton to open the fourth quarter.

That cut Beebe’s lead to 43-39. The Lady Badgers did everything they could from that point on to fend off the Lady Wolves, but Lake Hamilton seemed to have an answer for every Beebe basket down the stretch.

Lake Hamilton got to within one point of Beebe’s lead on a three-pointer from the corner by Kylie Frazier, which made the score 49-48 with 3:10 to play. Bullard gave the Lady Wolves their first lead of the second half on an and-one with 2:31 remaining, which put Lake Hamilton on top 51-49.

Beebe leading scorer Kalela Miller tied the game at 51-51 on a basket inside the paint, but Lake Hamilton retook the lead seconds later on an easy layup by Hailey Humphreys, which was set up by a Bullard pass from the baseline.

With 29.1 seconds to play, Lake Hamilton went up 55-51 on a pair of free throws by Frazier, who also set the final score with another free throw – the last one came with 8.8 ticks remaining.

“I thought we came out good in the second half,” said Lady Badgers’ coach Greg Richey, “and we had a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Then we gave up 23 points in the fourth quarter.

“I think the combination of some bad decisions, playing last night and being short on the bench today – then No. 33 (Bullard) started hitting some shots. Their No. 10 (Frazier) was hitting shots over in the corner and it just kind of steamrolled a little bit. We got behind and we couldn’t get a shot to go.”

Beebe was without four of its players on Saturday for various reasons. Lake Hamilton was easily the deeper team as it had 24 players dressed out compared to Beebe’s nine.

That depth combined with fresher legs was noticeable in the fourth quarter as the Lady Wolves outscored the Lady Badgers 23-8 to take the game.

Lake Hamilton narrowly won the rebounding battle 28-26, but committed five more turnovers than Beebe did, finishing with 26.

The free-throw shooting was comparable as Beebe finished 12 for 18 from the line for 67 percent. The Lady Wolves were 10 for 14 from the stripe for 71 percent.

The Lady Badgers could only manage one three-pointer in the game on 1 of 10 shooting. Lake Hamilton was 3 for 9 from three-point range for 33 percent.

Bullard led the way offensively for Lake Hamilton. She scored 19 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Frazier scored 15 and Humphreys added 11.

For Beebe, Miller scored a team-high 15 points. Gracie Anders scored 11 points for the Lady Badgers. Kassidy Elam added 10.

The Lady Badgers will play next in their own holiday tournament at Badger Sports Arena against Pulaski Robinson on Friday at 7 p.m.