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Fussell’s 2nd ‘point’ well-taken

Fussell’s 2nd ‘point’ well-taken
Fussell’s 2nd ‘point’ well-taken

Chassidy Fussell shoots during the Lady Rebels’ victory on Tuesday night.
Covington was but a speed bump in the Obion Central girls’ path on Tuesday.
The Lady Rebels coasted to a 71-47 victory despite a slow start to both the first and third quarters.
During Tuesday’s win, OC senior Chassidy Fussell moved up to No. 2 on the school’s all-time scoring list.
The Texas signee finished with 33 points and Fussell’s final basket of the evening put her two points ahead of now-third-place Cortney Neeley.
For her career, Fussell, who recorded her third triple-double in as many outings with 11 rebounds and 10 assists, has 2,166 points.
Only Rosemary (Thompson) Coleman, who played during the 6-on-6 era in the 1960s and totaled 2,614 tallies at Obion Central, has scored more points as a Lady Rebel.
In the nightcap, the OC boys showed great determination with a second-half comeback, but ultimately fell 98-80.
Both OC teams return to action on Tuesday at Gibson County. The girls’ game will certainly have a postseason feel with the No. 1 Lady Pioneers hosting fourth-ranked Central.
OC 71, Covington 47 (G)
The Lady Chargers (4-17, 3-7 in District 13AA) struck first with an Iesha Carruthers’ bucket and held Obion Central at bay for the game’s first 2 1/2 minutes.
Finally, Fussell swished a trifecta with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter to get OC on the board. On the shot, Fussell drew a foul. She made the free throw to finish off a rare 4-point play.
After the trey and freebie, Fussell made another bucket put the Lady Rebels up 6-2.
Then, sophomore point guard Macy Wright — who did not start the game due to a hand injury but entered midway through the opening canto — bottomed a deuce and Brandi Goodman came through with a stickback to give Obion Central (18-3, 9-1) a 10-2 advantage.
Obion Central, which has now won 11 of its last 12 games, continued its domination of the Lady Chargers through all of the second period — besting the visitors 24-4 in the frame and holding a 38-13 lead at halftime.
But Covington claimed a moral victory in the third quarter, outscoring OC 19-13 thanks in large part to their hustle.
“They surprised us with their speed,” Lady Rebels’ coach Lyle LaRue said of his team’s struggles in the first and third periods. “We didn’t adjust to that very well and we threw the ball away more than I’d like for us to in those two quarters.
“I also don’t think we went inside as much as we have the last couple of games.”
Aside from Fussell, Katie Pate had nine points for Obion Central, while Wright had six.
Covington’s Nykie Grandberry had a team-best 13 points, while Griggs and Dominique Ross each finished with a dozen.
Covington 98, OC 80 (G)
Down by as many as 29 points in the third quarter, Central battled back in the final 12 minutes to pull to within as little as 13.
The Rebel charge began with a Tanner Noles 3-pointer midway through the third quarter to ignite a 10-0 run.
Senior Travis Daniel accounted for five points (two buckets and a free throw) during the surge, while Tyler Barber offered a deuce.
Obion Central’s increased offensive proficiency continued through the fourth quarter.
Noles swished another trey and Barber followed with a bucket to make the count 79-66.
From there, Covington’s lead fluctuated from 14 to 20 points for the remainder of the contest.
“I thought we got better as a whole as the game went along,” OC boys’ coach Bill Kail said. “We handled their pressure a lot better than we did the first time we played them.
“If we could get the effort we did in the second half every night, we could get three or four district wins before this thing is over.”
Barber topped the scoring summary for the Rebels (6-14, 1-9) with 26 points — a half-dozen 3-point baskets included.
Daniel came through with 21, while Noles, who also made six trifectas, ended the game with 19 points.
Covington’s Carl McKenzie led all scorers with 28 points. Additionally, James McClain and Lester Gude each had 19 markers for the Chargers (12-7, 8-2).
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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