Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SPORT STORY >> Lady Bison earn rout of Stuttgart

Leader sportswriter

The Carlisle girls had little trouble with Class 4A Stuttgart in the opening round of the annual Goldfish Classic, as the Lady Bison cruised to a 53-25 victory over the Lady Ricebirds on Monday at the Gina Cox Center in Lonoke.

Carlisle opened the game with full-court pressure, and it was highly effective from the start. The Lady Bison forced a number of turnovers and that aided in the Lady Bison jumping out to an 11-1 lead.

The game’s first double-digit lead came on an Arius McClain steal on Stuttgart’s end of the court. McClain then dribbled the length of the floor for an easy layup, which forced a Stuttgart timeout with 3:43 to go in the opening quarter.

“We use the press, not just to get steals, but we use the press to try and wear people down and tire them down,” said Carlisle coach Jonathan Buffalo. “At the end of the game, you look out there and they (Stuttgart) were about holding their shorts.

“It’s a good win. It’s actually our first nonconference win. It was balanced scoring, they played hard and it was a good effort for right out of the gate since we haven’t done anything in a week.”

The Lady Bison carried a nine-point lead into the second quarter, leading 16-7. Three seconds into the second quarter, Carlisle’s lead went back to double digits on a Kylie Warren 3-pointer, which made the score 19-7.

Warren led all scorers with 19 points Monday, but junior guard Nikita Harper had as big of an impact as anyone in the second quarter. She scored eight of her 11 points in that eight-minute span, including two 3-pointers.

Her first three came at the 6:38 mark of the second period, and the second gave the Lady Bison a 25-13 lead with 5:25 left till halftime. Harper added a midrange jumper near the four-minute mark that put the Lady Bison up 27-13, and another three by Warren made it 35-13. At halftime, Carlisle led 37-14.

Warren scored the first five points of the second half. She made a three from the top of the key 31 seconds into the third quarter, and sank a contested layup on the following Carlisle possession, which made the score 42-14.

Carlisle’s lead reached 30-plus, 47-16, on a fast-break layup by Blakely Ellis with 4:40 left in the third. That score was set up by a Kayla Golleher steal and dish up court to the open Ellis.

The Lady Bison held their largest lead, 52-19, at the midway point of the third quarter. That score was set on another Harper three, with Golleher earning the assist.

The third quarter ended with the score 53-23. That margin was set on a Warren free throw with about 20 seconds remaining.

Carlisle’s 30-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter invoked the continuous clock sportsmanship rule the rest of the game. Only one basket was scored in the fourth quarter.

Stuttgart leading scorer Keionna Jackson got a putback after a missed free throw early in the final period. With the game well in hand, Carlisle’s starters sat the entirety of the fourth quarter.

Through the first three periods, when Carlisle’s starters were on the floor, the Lady Bison made 17 of 50 shot attempts for 34 percent. Stuttgart made 7 of 41 shots in the first three quarters for 17 percent.

Warren added nine rebounds, four steals, an assist and a block to go with her 19 points. Harper added four rebounds and two steals, and NicQuira Burnett added seven points and nine boards for the Lady Bison.

Jackson led Stuttgart with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Carlisle now has seven wins on the season, including a perfect 6-0 record in 2A-6 Conference play. The Goldfish Classic ends today in Lonoke. Look for details of the rest of the tournament in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.