Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bears earn first league win

Special to The Leader

The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears hosted the Lady Falcons of North Pulaski Friday night and picked up their first conference win of the season in a hard-fought contest by both teams. The game went down to the wire with the home team winning by a three-point margin, 50-47.

“They did play hard,” said Sylvan Hills coach Shelley Davis. “I was proud of them. Anytime you can get a win, it feels good. They’re excited, and I’m excited for them. It clicked for my senior tonight. She played hard and had a good game. They all played hard and played together. I knew it was going to come down to the last shot or last second because we were pretty equal tonight.”

Sylvan Hills was ahead by five at the end of one quarter, but North Pulaski outscored the Lady Bears by the same margin in the second to knot the score at 25 at the half. The Lady Falcons led by one after three quarters, but Sylvan Hills scored 15 to the visitors’ 11 in the final quarter for the victory.

“We knew it was going to be tough because we were without a couple of our starters,” North Pulaski coach Stacy Dalmut said. “We had some girls really step up and play hard. I am really proud of all the girls, they played their hearts out.”

Ilycia Carter got the Lady Falcons on the board first with a 3-pointer. Sarah Beckwith answered with a three for Sylvan Hills. Kiarra Evans and Olivia Turner each scored for North Pulaski before Beckwith sank her second 3-point basket.

The Lady Falcons’ Neiagha Thomas scored, but Maddison Shelton connected on a three to tie the game at nine. Shelton hit another 3-pointer in the quarter and Evans rounded out North Pulaski’s first-quarter scoring with two more points for a score of 16-11 in favor of the Lady Bears at the quarter’s end.

Sylvan Hills senior Courtney Boutte’ had a putback basket and Ashton Neasley a three-pointer to extend the lead to 21-12 before Carter and Elisha Smith sank threes to cut the lead to three points.

Beckwith extended the lead to five and Neasley had two more points for the Lady Bears in the quarter, but Carter hit another three and Evans added a two-pointer and then tied the game at 25-25 with one of a pair of free throws to close the half.

At the end of a mostly even third quarter, the Lady Falcons led by one, 36-35.

The fourth quarter started out all North Pulaski as they extended the lead to 41-35 before the Lady Bears scored six unanswered to tie the game. Sylvan Hills then hit 4 of 6 from the line for a 45-42 advantage.

Evans scored a putback basket for the Lady Falcons, but Aljahnay Duncan hit a two under the basket for a 47-44 Lady Bear lead. Carter tied the game with a traditional 3-point play. Beckwith then hit 1 of 2 free throws and Duncan hit a layup to put Sylvan Hills back ahead 50-47.

North Pulaski had a last chance to tie with the ball out of bounds with 3.7 seconds remaining, but Evans’ shot was just short and the Lady Bears prevailed.

Beckwith led Sylvan Hills with 12 points, Duncan scored 10, Neasley nine, Boutte’ added eight, and Shelton seven.

Carter led all scorers with 22 points, Evans added 11 for the Lady Falcons, and Smith had six points.