Friday, January 27, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> SH girls survive Titans

Leader sports editor

It took a little longer to wrap up than head coach Shelley Davis would have liked, but the Sylvan Hills ladies held off the Jacksonville Lady Titans 47-41 Tuesday in a 5A/6A-Central matchup.

“I don’t know what it is but we’re not closing games out,” said Davis. “We did the same thing and got beat by Christian. We’re up eight with two minutes left and just go crazy. I thought we were playing really well in the second half up until the very end. We’ve got to do better at keeping our composure.”

Sylvan Hills’ biggest lead was 42-30 and came with 2:40 left in the fourth quarter. The Lady Bears had led 36-30 with six minutes left, and then held Jacksonville scoreless for almost four minutes.

But after the lead reached 42-30 on a Mallory Kimble layup, that margin was down to six points in just 45 seconds. Jacksonville freshman Shy Christopher converted a 3-point play and Allison Seats got a steal after the free throw.

Seats passed to Christopher who missed a layup, but was fouled and made one of two foul shots with 2:04 left. Christopher then got her own steal and converted a layup that made it 42-36 with 1:55 remaining in the game.

Jacksonville then suffered a couple of its own concentration lapses. The Lady Bears (12-7, 4-3) pulled the ball out to try to run some clock, but Kimble spotted Jayla Bell alone under the basket for an easy layup.

Seats then missed a 3-pointer for Jacksonville, and the Lady Titans all failed to get back on defense. Sylvan Hills’ Diamond Flanders took a court-length pass from Alana Canady for a wide-open layup that made the score 46-36 with 1:10 remaining.

Christopher scored for Jacksonville, and Sylvan Hills then threw away the ball in the backcourt. Alexis James then made a 3-pointer from the left corner to pull the home team to within 46-41 with 28 seconds to go.

The Lady Bears then sealed the win at the free-throw line, or more precisely, by rebounding missed free throws.

Jacksonville (10-14, 2-5) sent Kimble to the line with 22 seconds left, where she missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Canady got the rebound. She passed to Flanders, who was fouled with 12 seconds to go. Flanders got two free throws and missed both of them, but Canady also got that rebound and was fouled with nine seconds remaining.

She missed the first free throw and made the second to set the final margin.

The Lady Bears led the entire game. They pulled out to a 16-7 lead about halfway through the second quarter, but Jacksonville answered with a 10-2 run that made it 18-17 with 2:30 left in the half. A basket by Andrea Dolphin was the only points the rest of the half, and Sylvan Hills took a 20-17 lead into the locker room.

Sylvan Hills then scored the first six points of the second half, and maintained a lead between six and 12 points until Jacksonville got within five late in the fourth.

Christopher led all scorers with 19 points, and made it a double-double by grabbing 10 rebounds. James added 15 for the Lady Titans.

Canady led Sylvan Hills with 17 points and added eight rebounds. Bell had a double-double, scoring 15 and grabbing 12 boards.

Both teams were poor from the foul line. Sylvan Hills made 9 of 20 while Jacksonville made 5 of 13.