Tuesday, February 10, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Carlisle girls clinch 2A-6 league title

Leader sportswriter

The Carlisle Lady Bison secured their third-straight regular season 2A-6 Conference championship, and first outright since 2013, with a dominant 43-15 win at KIPP Delta Collegiate High last Thursday.

The Lady Bison were the regular season co-champions of the conference last year, sharing the honor with rival Brinkley, but won it outright this season and did so with two conference games remaining on the schedule.

Carlisle’s win over KIPP Delta last Thursday improved its 2A-6 record to 14-2 on the season. Des Arc, who held the second-place spot entering last week’s games, trailed the Lady Bison by two games in the league standings, but lost to Augusta last week.

The Lady Eagles’ loss to Augusta, combined with Carlisle’s win over KIPP Delta, gives the Lady Bison a three-game lead in the conference standings with just two games remaining; therefore, giving the Lady Bison the outright 2A-6 championship.

“We struggled at times, and that’s to be expected with the young group that I have,” said Carlisle girls’ coach Jonathan Buffalo. “It also proves that anybody in this conference can beat anybody any night.

“Des Arc beat us at Des Arc, and they’ve come out and lost two in a row since they beat us.”

Just because the Carlisle girls have already secured the conference championship, though, doesn’t mean they’re going to take these last two regular season games lightly, according to Buffalo.

“We want to finish strong,” Buffalo said. “We want to have momentum. It doesn’t matter that we’ve already clinched it. We want to win these last two games to have as much momentum as we can going into the district tournament.”

Carlisle led 18-4 at the end of the first quarter last Thursday, and pushed that lead to 20-plus by halftime, leading 29-7. By the end of the third quarter, the Lady Bison led 42-11.

The continuous clock ran throughout the fourth quarter because of the 30-point sportsmanship rule, which led to the low-scoring numbers in that quarter.

Kylie Warren led Carlisle with 21 points. Elex McClain had 11 points, and Nikita Harper had nine.

The Carlisle boys didn’t have as easy of a time with KIPP Delta last week. The Bison were outmatched in every way against the more talented and experienced hosts, and lost by the final score of 70-45.

KIPP Delta used its press to disrupt the Bison’s offense early, and led by double digits at the end of the first quarter. The hosts’ lead grew to 21 by halftime, with the score 40-19, and Carlisle was never able to recover.

“We couldn’t do much at all against their pressure,” said Bison coach Chris Houser. “Their speed and athleticism was way too much for us to handle. We were way overmatched against them.”

Devon Kendrick led the Carlisle boys with 19 points. He was the lone Bison to score in double figures. Nick Schafer scored nine points. Drake Adams scored seven points for Carlisle, and point guard Dominic Castleberry added six.

The Bison and Lady Bison played host to Marvell on senior night last night after deadlines, and they’ll travel to McCrory on Friday for the final regular season game of the year.

The Lady Bison (17-7, 14-2) will enter next week’s district tournament at Hazen as the No. 1 seed. The Bison, who are 2-14 in conference play, will enter the district tournament as the No. 9 seed.