Thursday, January 25, 2007
Ashland takes two from Rebels
By CLAUDE VINSON
The Lady Rebels of Hickory Flat and Lady Devils of Ashland have had many interesting contests over the season, and this one on Tuesday of last week was shaping up to rival those foregone.
Both teams were showing aggressive defenses. The 2-3 used by Hickory Flat was forcing the Lady Devils to hurry their passes to the post positions. Ashland managed to dump in enough to make a lead of 16-6 after the first frame.
The Lady Rebels were keeping pressure on the ball, but the Lady Devils were still being more efficient in their shot selections. They were hitting the nylon from outside as well as inside.
Laken Cook began pumping them in from the wings, and the long threes eventually cut the Ashland lead to two points near the end of the second half.
Then the Lady Devils went on a run, started by four fast break points from two steals, when the intermission buzzer slowed them down. The score was 32-21.
The Lady Rebels continued their fast mode of play in the third, trying to trim the 10-point deficit. They succeeded in hitting the five-point mark midway through the third. Cook was still setting up on either wing, sailing treys through the net. She tied it at 39 all with two minutes left in the quarter.
Terica Watkins put the Lady Devils back in the lead by slipping coverage and popping two in a row close in. The Lady Rebels were down again at the end of the third frame, 45-41.
The Lady Rebels grabbed the lead again and kept it throughout the final quarter of regulation. They had a three-point lead, 50-47, with 7.6 seconds left on the clock when Sandricka Bowen pulled up and forced a fifth quarter by planting a trey at the buzzer.
The Lady Rebels couldn’t climb back in and fell 66-60.
Cook led the home team with 22 points (seven threes). Hannah Wilkerson threw in 16 and Anna Cook hit nine.
Bowen paced the Lady Devils with 24, followed by Kiana Jones with nine.
Blue Devils win
Whenever these rivals cross district and class lines, one can usually expect a good contest; however, in this one the Blue Devils were never threatened on the way to a 61-47 victory.
The defenses were adequately covering the ball, but neither was putting a lot of pressure on the ball. Points were not materializing for the Rebels and the Devils had a 10-point lead after one completed (16-6).
The second found the Devils still padding the score. With Darnell Anderson and Quint Hampton holding the fort under the basket, practically nothing leather was getting past. The Devils had a 12-point benefit at the intermission at 34-22.
The Rebels came out of the locker room and stared down the deficit. They began to wage an earnest war under the defensive basket. They were pretty successful; however, a good portion resulted in throwaways. They were behind 44-28 after three.
The Rebels’ comeback try in the third left them with an 18-point burden in the fourth quarter. They did make a run for it. First they pared it down to 13 and then down to nine before the Devils put the brakes on and went on to win.
Both teams were very good at the charity stripe, Hickory Flat hitting 80 percent and Ashland hitting 90 percent.
Zavian Adams was out front for the Rebels with 15; next was Tyler Reed with 10.
The Blue Devils had three shooters in double figures, Quent Williams and Hampton with 10 each and Calvin Hampton with 12.
Ashland teams hosted Potts Camp Friday and visited Lafayette Tuesday. They host Belmont in important district contests Friday, Jan. 26. Next Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Devils and Lady Devils travel to New Site. Hickory Flat visited Tremont Friday and hosted Potts Camp Tuesday. They go to Myrtle Friday and Ingomar next Tuesday.
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