• 68°

Lady Bulldogs come up short against Calhoun

Sports Writer

BRUNDIDGE

– Turnovers have killed the Pike County girls basketball team all year.

But for the first three quarters against Calhoun on Monday, the Lady Bulldogs controlled the problem.

The fourth quarter, however, was a different story.

PCH committed nine of its 19 turnovers and hit only four-of-10 shots in the fourth quarter as Calhoun held off the Lady Bulldogs, 47-42 in the Class 3A Area 2 Tournament Championship game.

Both teams advance to sub-Regional play starting Thursday, which PCH coach Leroy Bryant said helped ease the pressure coming in.

"There is no doubt about that. That’s one good thing about winning the first game of the area tournament. No matter what happens the second time, you’re always going to advance. Right now, we have to go to Montgomery. I don’t know who we’ll play right now, but whoever we play, we’re going to give it our best shot."

Bryant said fatigue was a big factor in the fourth quarter.

"We got tired and a lot of times when you get tired, you try to do things you can’t do and turn the ball over and that’s what really hurt us -turnovers. We missed some key free throws and some key layups, but the biggest thing that hurt us at the end was turnovers."

PCHS scored the first seven points of the final period to erase a five-point deficit and grab the lead after a basket from Dee Dee Rodgers with 3:39 left. But Calhoun’s Latonya Flowers took over, scoring the next six points and the Lady Tigers held Pike County to two points the rest of the way to pull away. Flowers scored 17 points to lead Calhoun, all coming in the second half.

"We were in the ballgame the whole time," Bryant said. "I thought we played pretty good defense. Overall, I was pleased with the effort we gave, we didn’t quit. It was anybody’s ballgame all the way down to the final minute."

Both teams struggled offensively during the contest as Calhoun managed to shoot 35 percent. The Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, committed more turnovers (19) then field goals(15) in shooting 31 percent.

The Lady Tigers took control early, 14-6, with 2:01 left in the first period behind five points from Janita Smith and four from Cyrenthia Spann. But PCHS scored the final five points of the period, including a three-pointer by Wennica Foster at the buzzer to cut the lead to 14-11. Foster scored all 11 Lady Bulldog points in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 22.

The second quarter featured five lead changes and two ties in the final 4:52 as Marla Boykin’s basket with seven seconds left gave PCHS a 24-23 halftime advantage. But the Lady Bulldogs nightmares’ from the free throw line continued, a seven-for-14 performance in the second quarter, while hitting just 8-of-17 in the game.

After shooting 46 percent in the first quarter, PCHS held the Lady Tigers to 25 percent shooting in the second quarter and outrebounded Calhoun 24-17 in the half to help grab the lead.

The Lady Bulldogs stretched its lead to 31-27 on a three-pointer by Stephanie Caffie with 5:13 remaining in the third, but Calhoun countered with an 11-2 run to end the quarter, including six points from Flowers and the final seven points to regain the lead.