Tuesday, December 01, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Nettleton sweeps Badgers

Leader sportswriter

The Beebe Badgers and Lady Badgers each lost their nonconference games at Nettleton last week.

In those Nov. 24 games, the Beebe girls stayed within striking distance of the undefeated Lady Raiders, but lost for the first time this season by the final score of 51-43, and the Raiders won the boys’ game 59-45.

In the first game, the Nettleton girls (4-0) nearly doubled the Lady Badgers (2-1) on the scoreboard in the opening quarter, leading 15-8 after one. The second quarter was more balanced, but Nettleton outscored Beebe 8-7 to take a 23-15 lead into halftime.

Beebe outscored Nettleton 13-10 in the third quarter, which cut the Lady Raiders’ lead to 33-28 at the start of the fourth. The Lady Badgers went on an early run in the fourth quarter and got within one of Nettleton’s lead, trailing 35-34.

Though the Lady Badgers never got the lead in the fourth quarter, the game stayed within two possessions up until the final two minutes, and the Lady Raiders were able to pull away and win by eight.

The biggest difference in the girls’ game was that the Lady Raiders had 39 foul shots and Beebe was limited to 16. Though it was the first loss of the year for the Beebe girls, it was a good test, according to BHS coach Greg Richey.

“It was a good road contest for us and hopefully it’s something we can take and improve on some of the weaknesses that we had during this game,” said Richey.

Taylor McGraw led Beebe with 16 points. Katie Turner had eight points, Hannah Camp five, Kassidy Elam four, Hannah McGhee and Gracie Anders each had three, and Allie Lane and Kierston Miller added two points apiece.

Neither team got off to a good start shooting in the boys’ game, but Nettleton had a better showing in the first quarter, and led 12-3 after one. By halftime, the Raiders’ lead grew to double digits, leading 35-19.

Beebe, though, showed some fight in the third quarter, and with about three minutes left in the period, the Badgers (0-2) cut the Nettleton lead to eight points. That was as close as they’d get the rest of the way, though, as Nettleton soon got its lead back to double digits and kept Beebe from making another run in the fourth quarter.

“We cut it to eight with about three to go in the third, we just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Beebe coach Ryan Marshall. “We had such a slow start; we just dug ourselves in a hole. It’s kind of been our Achilles heel in these first few games – just the slow, slow starts.”

Marshall said his team’s offensive execution, patience and defense all played a part in getting the Nettleton lead down to single digits in the third quarter.

“I thought we had stretches where we ran our offense real well,” Marshall said, “and were patient, to get a good shot, and we defended pretty well in the third quarter – got some back-to-back stops. Then we were able to go down and score after stopping them two or three times as opposed to getting out of it.”

Austin Moore led Beebe in scoring with 22 points.