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Bigger B’ford girls cut to size by OC

Bigger B’ford girls cut to size by OC
Bigger B’ford girls cut to size by OC
Size didn’t matter to the Obion Central girls on Saturday night.
Nor did the recent success of Bradford, which advanced to the semifinals of the Class A State Tournament last season.
In fact, what may have mattered the most was the fact that Lady Rebels, who have just a pair of players with extensive time on the high school hardwood, held the Lady Red Devils at bay during a 68-57 triumph at the Troy gym.
“We were concerned about their size coming into the game,” OC girls’ coach Eddie Suiter admitted. “We did a good job of stopping them from reaching the paint though, in the first half and that really put the momentum in our corner.”
All totaled, OC held B’ford’s resident top post threat Erica Oliver to just nine points overall and just two points in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Obion Central boys joined their female counterparts with a mark of 2-0 as they downed Bradford 56-41 during the TSSAA Hall of Champions outing.
On Friday night, both OC squads had won their season openers as the girls bettered Munford 81-48 and the boys were 66-46 victors over the Cougars.
Obion Central returns to the hardwood tonight when they travel to Trenton for a twinbill.
SATURDAY
OC 68, Bradford 57 (G)
Chassidy Fussell poured in 29 points and she pulled down 21 rebounds as her prominence also attracted double teams that opened the court for many of her teammates during the Lady Rebels’ victory on Saturday.
Fussell finished just shy of a triple double as she dished out eight assists for Obion Central.
“We know that Chassidy is going to draw a lot of attention and double teams,” Suiter said. “When that happens, we have to get other players involved in the scoring and we did tonight.”
Fussell, who has the size of a forward, also led the Lady Rebels’ down the court on numerous occasions in a guard role against Bradford’s press attempts on defense.
After the game, Suiter said he was impressed with his team’s ability to attack the basket against the press.
The key exchange in the game came during the second quarter as Central began that canto with a 9-4 run and they ended the period with an overall 19-12 bettering of the Lady Devils.
On back-to-back occasions early in that stanza, Fussell was able to find Mackenzie Tucker open in the frontcourt for a pair of easy layups.
During the first three minutes of the third quarter, OC pulled ahead by as many as 16 points, before Bradford (1-1) mounted a comeback to the cut the lead to seven points at the buzzer.
Lady Rebel forward Mariah Adkins accounted for six of her eight total points during the third period.
The Lady Devils continued to inch closer through the first two minutes of the fourth quarter as they trailed 53-50, at which point Fussell bottomed a three that took all of the wind out of the Gibson Countians’ sails.
Joining Fussell in double digits was freshman Macy Wright, who pitched in 14.
OC 56, Bradford 41 (B)
Maybe the best news coming out the Rebels’ victory on Saturday was the fact that they won despite leading scorer Nick Gilliam’s being held to just two points.
Obion Central opened the first quarter with a 12-1 run and they did not allow a basket until the game was over seven minutes old.
During that spurt, Gilliam made his only bucket of the evening, while Brandon Smith, Tyler Barber and Brady Boucher added a deuce each.
At the charity stripe, Brandon King and Travis Daniel each sank a pair, while Barber and Tyler Noles swished one freebie apiece in the first.
“It was a win,” Central boys’ coach Bill Kail said after the game. “It wasn’t pretty on our side, but it was a win.
“We never established a rhythm in the game as we’d foul right after we scored and I don’t know if our lack of focus can be attributed to overconfidence or not after the win over Munford.”
Regardless of the circumstances, the Rebels never were threatened by Bradford and they stretched their lead to 25 points at one point during the fourth quarter of the triumph.
Smith was the leading scorer for Obion Central with a dozen, while Barber was good for 11 points.
King was a bucket away from double digits with eight markers and a like number of rebounds.
Senior center Brady Boucher swatted away four shots for the Rebels.
FRIDAY
OC 81, Munford 48 (G)
Fussell totaled 29 points during the season’s first game, as well.
The Lady Rebels coasted to the victory as they led 30-8 after a quarter, 45-17 at halftime and 67-31 with three complete.
Also reaching double digits on opening night was the duo of Tucker (14 points) and Kacee Eaves (12 points).
Wright was a point short of double digits as she contributed nine for the victors.
OC 66, Munford 46 (B)
Donnie Walton got a passing grade as the team’s acting coach on Friday.
Walton — who was subbing for Bill Kail as he sat out due to a one-game suspension for a violation of TSSAA rules — piloted the county locals to the victory.
Gilliam was the top performer for the Rebels with 20 points, while Barber and Smith both reached double digits with 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Off the bench, Daniel tossed in eight markers.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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