Tuesday, February 14, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bears lose game, composure

Leader sports editor

Lady Bear head coach Shelley Davis had said Friday morning that she was worried about her team’s ability to keep its composure. That came to fruition Friday night, when, with a chance to beat one of the highest-ranked teams in the state, two team members were goaded into a fourth-quarter altercation that got them both ejected, and helped lead to a 56-51 loss to Parkview.

Mallory Kimble and Diamond Flanders, as well as two Parkview players, were ejected from the game, which also comes with a mandatory one-game suspension. Sylvan Hills’ Andrea Dolphin was also ejected and not allowed to finish the game, but a later review by the Arkansas Activities Association revealed Dolphin was not involved in the altercation. She was reinstated and will be eligible for all remaining games.

“When that girl punched Mallory,” began Davis, “if she doesn’t retaliate, or if Diamond just grabs her teammate and walks her back to her bench and tries to de-escalate the whole thing, we probably win that game. They would have gotten two technicals, which would’ve given us four free throws and the ball back. Then they have to play the rest of the game without two starters. But we just couldn’t do it.”

Davis was careful not to try to defend her players’ behavior, but did believe the officials were partly responsible for the flare up.

“The referees let it get extremely, way too rough,” Davis said. “They lost control of the game by not taking any action when things got a little touchy several times earlier.”

Sylvan Hills (15-9, 7-5) trailed 39-31 going into the fourth quarter, and were within five points with five minutes left when the ejections took place.

The Lady Bears pulled to within one point with 90 seconds remaining, but could never take the lead.

Another key factor in the game was rebounding. The Lady Patriots (20-3, 11-1) dominated that area, pulling down 37 rebounds to just 19 for Sylvan Hills.

Alana Canady led Sylvan Hills with 21 points and six rebounds. Jayla Bell added 15 points for the Lady Bears.