Monday, February 24, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe puts away Forrest City girls

Leader sports editor

The Lady Mustangs battled with the second place Beebe Lady Badgers for a quarter on Tuesday, but the inside-outside combination of Gracie Anders and Kalela Miller proved too much for their visitors from Forrest City as Beebe won 63-32.

“I really felt like we had a pretty good overall effort tonight,” said Beebe coach Greg Richey. “We rebounded well. We moved the ball pretty well. I really thought we defended well in the early going. It was just a good team effort.”

Anders, a sophomore center, had eight points and eight rebounds in the first quarter, but it was only good for a 13-13 score with 2 seconds left in the period.

Forrest City forced a turnover and got to inbound the ball from in front of its own bench, but a miscommunication led to a pass to no one. Beebe’s Madison Richey scooped up the ball as it bounced lonesomely toward halfcourt and let it fly with a 45-footer at the buzzer that swished the net for a 16-13 Beebe lead.

That shot brought the home crowd to its feet and Forrest City never regained the momentum. Miller, the team’s leading average scorer, managed just two points in the opening period, but came alive in the second quarter to spark a Badger run that put them in control of the game.

“She is really growing as a player and being the kind of player we need on a given night,” Richey said of Miller. “Tonight we needed a scoring spark and she provided that. She’s capable of doing so many things, and she’s starting to play like the complete player that she is.”

Beebe (16-6, 9-2) still led by three at 22-19 when Miller scored eight-straight points, including six in one minute for a 30-19 lead.

The third quarter started in similar fashion after Beebe took a 39-25 lead into intermission. Beebe started the third with an 11-2 run to make it 50-27 with five minutes left in the third. That lead only increased to 56-30 by quarter’s end, but Miller hit a 3-pointer with 6:54 left in the game to make it 60-30 and put the mercy rule into effect.

Miller led all scorers with 26 points and five rebounds. Anders had 18 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Deja Collins led Forrest City (9-12, 4-6) with 10 points. Ayanna Hilliard had six points and seven rebounds in the first half, but did not play in the second half.