Friday, January 03, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bison take third in tournament

Leader sportswriter

The Carlisle girls finished 2013 by going 2-1 in their own Bison Holiday Hoops Tournament, and capped tournament play with a 55-41 win over Bradford in the third-place game Monday at Bison Arena.

Carlisle (5-5) opened the tournament with an impressive 56-24 win over class 3A Barton, but narrowly lost the semifinal round 40-39 to DeWitt. Monday’s matchup with Bradford was dominated by two Lady Bison seniors.

Post player Faith Walker and guard/forward Presley Carter combined to score 49 of the team’s 55 points Monday to help the Lady Bison lock up third place in the tournament. Walker was the leading scorer with 31 points. Carter scored 18. Walker scored a career-high 32 points in the tournament opener against Barton.

“Our effort was good,” said Lady Bison coach Jonathan Buffalo. “That was the best we’ve handled pressure probably the whole season. We got good contributions out of all seven players who played in the game. Overall it was just a good team effort and I’m pleased with the results.”

Carlisle led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter Monday, and the score remained close till the end of the half. At that point the Lady Bison rallied to take a 29-19 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, the Lady Eagles did everything they could to shoot their way back into the game, but it was to no avail, as the host team kept its 10-point lead heading into the final eight minutes, leading 38-28.

Bradford leading scorer Karlie Senko drained one of her five three-pointers with 7:23 to play in the fourth quarter to cut the Lady Eagles’ deficit to single digits with the score 38-31, but that was as close as the visiting team would get to catching the Lady Bison down the stretch.

With 5:36 to play, Carter got her own putback that resulted in an and-one, which put Carlisle back up by double digits, leading 43-31. Another and-one, this one by Walker, at the 4:29 mark of the fourth quarter put the Lady Bison up 13, leading 46-33.

Bradford trimmed Carlisle’s lead to 10 with 3:19 remaining on another three-pointer by Senko, who finished with a team-high 15 points on five threes, but the Lady Bison responded with a 7-3 run to close the game and set the final score.

“We played well the first night against Barton,” Buffalo said. “We shot the ball well and were able to do some things we wanted to do. (Against DeWitt) we got frustrated a little bit, but if we would’ve played that game like we did tonight (against Bradford) we’d be playing (in the tournament championship game).

“But it is what it is. We’ll take some positives from it. It’s good to get to play games instead of going two weeks without playing.”

In addition to Walker’s and Carter’s scoring efforts Monday, fellow senior Morgan Walter scored five points for Carlisle, and freshman Kayla Golleher added a free throw to round out the Lady Bison’s scoring totals.

The Carlisle boys only played two games in the tournament and lost both. The Bison lost to Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter 81-61 in the first round of the tournament on Dec. 27, and lost 56-30 to Perryville in the consolation game the next day.

Both the Bison and Lady Bison hosted Lonoke last night after deadlines. Look for details of those nonconference games in Wednesday’s edition of The Leader.