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Pike County loses lead late in loss to Ashford

Albeit in a losing effort, the Pike County Lady Bulldogs took another step in their progression in a 50-47 loss to Ashford on Tuesday evening.

The Bulldogs led by as many as nine points throughout the entire game, but in the final two minutes the home team Yellow Jackets were too much to handle.

“We had the lead the entire game,” said Bulldogs head coach Todd Reynolds. “We got up by as much as nine, but we were on the road and they battled.”

The difference of the game down the stretch was the Yellow Jackets ability to knock down more of their shots and the Bulldogs couldn’t convert their free throws when it mattered most.

The Bulldogs went 2-15 at the free throw line.

“They just made one or two more plays,” Reynolds said. “The real tale of the tape came at the free throw line. We made two free throws out of 15. You can’t win a tightly contested game on the road when you’re only making two free throws. I set a realistic team goal of 60 percent, if we do that we win by five points.”

The Yellow Jackets took the game inside against the guard heavy Bulldogs and Pike County couldn’t respond.

“They were hurting us down low and we just didn’t respond the way that we needed to,” Reynolds said. “A lot of teams will chunk it and try to get rebounds. They had some good interior players that could get rebounds and get points out of them.”

The play of their guards, Precious Vaznaian and Keeyah Rodgers had the Bulldogs in control for much of the game.

“My two prime time players (Vaznaian and Rodgers) had good games,” Reynolds said. “It just came down to a couple plays and that is just where we are right now.”

Vaznaian finished the game with 21 points, while Rodgers had 13.

Even with the loss, Reynolds is pleased with where his team is heading as they inch closer to area play in January.

“We are progressing and we are getting there,” Reynolds said. “We have had more close games this year already then we did all of last year combined. We are inching towards area play. Records are nice, but that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to area play.”

The Bulldogs will begin to close out 2016 when they participate in the Red Level Tournament beginning on December 26 when they take on T.R. Miller.