Friday, December 01, 2017

SPORTS STORY>>Lady Badgers control Bears

Leader sports editor

Beebe and Sylvan Hills are in two different regular-season conferences, but the same postseason conference, which means their nonconference matchup Tuesday at Badger Arena would have an impact on postseason seedings.

It was supposed to be a matchup of two of the top teams, but it was all Beebe as the Lady Badgers won 56-43.

“It wasn’t a particularly entertaining performance by either team. Sylvan Hills shot the ball horribly and Beebe committed 27 turnovers. There were also lots of fouls and free throws stifling the action, but Beebe coach Greg Richey will take the win.

“Defensively, I thought we did a good job the whole game,” said Richey. “We gave up a few too many offensive rebounds in the second half, but overall I was pleased with the defense. Offensively, we moved the ball really well early and created open shots, but we got a little sloppy in the second half. We definitely have to work on taking better care of the basketball.”

Sylvan Hills had some open shots in the first half as well, but were dismal from the floor the entire game. The Lady Bears finished the game hitting 11 of 52 shot attempts (21 percent).

That included missing their first nine in a row while Beebe built a 10-2 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter. Sylvan Hills added four free throws from that point to pull within four, but then left Jacolby Williams unguarded at the buzzer, and she nailed a 3-pointer for a 13-6 lead going into the second.

It was Beebe’s first game with everyone on the roster, but they weren’t all full strength and they didn’t all play very long. Libbie Hill, the team’s leading scorer from last year, started for the first time, but got in early foul trouble and played only a few total minutes before fouling out.

She got her third foul less than three minutes into the second quarter, but Beebe began to dominate anyway. Senior Katie Turner made some outstanding moves inside to either score or create wide open shots for fellow post player Hannah Gammill. Those two combined for 10 points in the second period alone, while junior guard Marianna Richey added seven more, including a 3-pointer with 2:04 on the clock that put Beebe up 26-9.

Both teams scored six points before halftime to make it 32-15 at the break.

Williams scored the first basket of the second half to make it a 19-point lead, and it grew to as much as 22 before the Lady Bears began to chip away.

Beebe (3-1) led 47-26 at the start of the fourth quarter, but Turner picked up her fourth and fifth fouls in a one-minute span in the fourth quarter, and Sylvan Hills began to chip away.

Sylvan Hills (2-2) had a chance to get within single digits after Beebe missed two free throws with 2:20 to play, but the Lady Bears lost the ball out of bounds, preserving a 51-40 lead.

After a 1-of-2 trip to the line by Beebe, Sylvan Hills’ Alana Canady scored to make it 52-42 with 1:42 to play, but that was as close as the Lady Bears would get.

Turner led all scorers with 14 points and was one of three players with seven rebounds, despite fouling out so early. Gammill finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Richey added 12 points and Williams scored 10 for Beebe. Hill scored seven in her limited action and added five assists.

Jayla Bell led the Lady Bears with 11 points and seven boards. Aaliyah Bynum came off the bench to drop in 10 for Sylvan Hills. Beebe held Canady, a Division I signee, to just six points one 1 of 13 shooting, and three rebounds.

“We were focusing on her, of course,” Richey said. “We wanted to make it difficult for her and I think we frustrated her a little bit because she also missed some open ones that helped us out a lot. Like I said, I think we did a pretty good job defensively.”