Friday, January 13, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Sylvan Hills ladies outrun Maumelle

Leader sports editor

An 18-point win drew mixed reviews from Sylvan Hills girls’ coach Shelley Davis Tuesday in Sherwood. The Lady Bears got caught up in Maumelle’s frenetic style of play for long stretches of the game, but finally took control with a run in the third quarter before prevailing 66-48.

“Bad,” Davis, said, describing how she thought her team handled Maumelle’s tempo. “At times we settled down and did all right. Other times we just went crazy and didn’t run anything. We just ran. It was frustrating when that happened. We know what they’re going to do. We talk about and practice what we have to do, and then we lose focus and just start running up and down the floor.”

The Lady Hornets (3-11, 0-2)forced the fast pace at the opening tip, but neither team scored well. Despite the breakneck speed of the game, the score was just 4-4 three minutes in. Maumelle took a 7-6 lead a minute later, and that’s when the Lady Bears began to take control.

Sylvan Hills (10-5, 1-1) went on a 6-1 run with buckets by Alana Canady and Mallory Kimble, and two free throws by Jayla Bell. Maumelle called timeout, trailing 12-8 with 1:46 left in the first quarter, but it would get a lot worse for the visiting team before the end of the quarter.

After the timeout, Maumelle missed a quick shot, and Andrea Dolphin hit a pull-up jumper fromabout 12 feet. Diamond Flanders then got a steal, and the Dolphin scooped up the loose ball. She missed a layup in transition, but Bell was there for the rebound and putback. After another Hornet turnover, Bell hit a 3-pointer for a 19-8 lead just 61 seconds after the timeout.

Maumelle coach William Rountree called another timeout, and the Lady Hornets made 1 of 2 free throws after getting to the line. Bell then penetrated and kicked out to Dolphin, who hit another 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to set the halftime margin at 22-9.

It was a 16-2 run in a three-minute span, and most of it was with Canady, the team’s leading rebound and second-leading scorer, on the bench.

“That was our best stretch of the game,” Davis said. “We were playing fast, but we were getting in the right positions and executing our press. And we were finishing. Alana, bless her. She’s so talented, but she’s just not finishing real well right now. If she ever gets it all going at the same time, she’s going to be a tough player to deal with. Right now, she’s doing everything right, she’s just not making shots.”

Sylvan Hills scored first in the second quarter to take a 24-9 lead, but that’s where things began to unravel momentarily for the home team.

Sylvan Hills had dominated the boards in the first quarter, holding an 11-3 advantage. But with Canady (who had four rebounds in the first) on the bench, Maumelle’s taller lineup started getting second-chance points.

From 24-9, the Lady Hornets went on a 10-1 run to pull within 25-19 with four minutes left in the half. Post players Jayla King and McKenzie Smith led the charge for Maumelle, combining for all 10 points and seven rebounds.

Canady reentered the lineup and became a disruptive force defensively for the Maumelle posts.

Both offenses struggled the rest of the half, but Sylvan Hills outscored Maumelle 6-4 to take a 31-23 lead into the locker room.

The third quarter was a chaotic mess for both teams, but the Lady Bears were a bit more efficient than their opponent. For a two-minute stretch from 4:40 to 2:40, the Lady Bears went on a 7-0 run that increased its lead to 42-27.

The game went into the fourth quarter 45-30. Maumelle scored the first four points of the fourth, but never got any closer the rest of the way. The Lady Hornets couldn’t hit from outside or from the free-throw line. They did get a lift from bench players, but Bell scored 10 points to lead the Lady Bears in the last frame.

Bell led the Lady Bears for much of the game, and finished with a double-double.

“She’s becoming, really kind-of our foundation,” Davis said. “She’s just steady. She’s been getting 18-20 every night. Very solid and dependable player.”

Bell finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Canady also had a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

King had a double-double for Maumelle as well. She had 20 points and 10 rebounds while Kayla Freeman had 7 points and 10 rebounds.