Tuesday, February 07, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Badgers win a thriller in road game

Special to The Leader

Behind by one point and 2.2 on the clock, the Beebe Lady Badgers got and hit the last second shot for the 37-36 win Friday night over the Lady Eagles in Vilonia. Beebe had the ball out of bounds under their own basket. Katie Turner inbounded the ball to Marianna Richey, stepped in bounds, got the return pass, and sank the winning shot at the buzzer.

“It was a big win for us on the road,” said Beebe coach Greg Richey. “I thought that we played a little bit tight. I thought Vilonia played a little bit tight at times.

That’s what happens in close games. But, we just kept digging and digging and finally found a way to make the last shot. The way it looked, whoever shoots the last shot is probably going to win the game, and that’s the way it happened again tonight.”

The first quarter started slowly for the Lady Badgers, but they battled back for the 5A/6A North-Central Conference victory. The lead was one at the half, and each team scored 13 points in the second half, so the one point halftime edge proved to be the difference. The win puts Beebe alone in second place in the conference race with a record of 7-2.

Batesville is in first place with one loss. The Lady Badgers are 17-7 overall.

The Lady Eagles took a 7-0 lead before Beebe got on the scoreboard with a free throw by Hannah Mcghee. Vilonia scored six more in the opening frame, but Libbie Hill sank a 2-point jumper, a free throw, and a 3-pointer for a score of 13-7 at the quarters end.

Beebe came back strong to outscore the Lady Eagles 17-10 in the second period. Turner hit consecutive 2-pointers under the basket to start the scoring. Hill sank two from the line, then Turner tied the game at 15-15 with another two.

Hill hit two more free throws for the first lead for the Lady Badgers. Kylea Hightower connected on a 3-point basket to give the lead back to Vilonia. The lead changed five more times in the quarter before Turner scored the final two on a drive in the lane to give Beebe a 24-23 halftime edge.

To start the third, Hannah Montgomery gave the Lady Eagles the lead back with a lay-up.

Hill tied the contest at 25-25 with a free throw, and that score held until 3:47 remained in the period. Paige Kelley had four points in the remainder for Vilonia, Hill scored on a baseline in bounds play and on a driving lay-up for Beebe, and the score was 31-29 Lady Eagles at the end of three periods of play.

After a free throw by Vilonia, a steal by Mcghee led to a 2-pointer off the glass by Hill. Hill scored again from under the basket, then Abbie Henley had a steal and lay-up for a 35-32 Beebe advantage. Kelley scored four points, and Vilonia had the one point lead at 36-35.

Beebe called a time out with 1:50 remaining and the ball. Unable to score, full court pressure was applied. Several turnovers and a forced time out occurred before the Lady Badgers rebounded a Vilonia miss with under thirty seconds remaining.

Beebe had the ball out of bounds with 10.5 seconds to go. Two shots were missed, but again the Lady Badgers had the ball out of bounds with 2.2 seconds. That was when Turner inbounded the ball, got the pass back and sank the winning basket to set the final score at 37-36.

Hill had 22 points for Beebe, while Turner added 10. Kelley led Vilonia with 17 points.