OC gals dig deep; Rebels struggle

OC gals dig deep; Rebels struggle
OC gals dig deep; Rebels struggle

Obion Central’s Macy Wright watches the inbound during Friday’s victory over Ripley.
It’s a simple game, really.
Make shots, and you win.
Miss them, and you don’t.
Such was on display Friday night when Obion Central split a District 13AA twinbill against Ripley.
The Lady Rebels hit a high percentage early and never trailed, winning for the seventh time in as many league games with a 74-60 triumph over the Tiger girls.
The trio of Brandi Goodman (25 points), Mackenzie Tucker (14) and Macy Wright (10) gave district-leading Central a good balance of inside/outside firepower on the way to its 18th win in 21 games overall.
Dismal 27 percent shooting in the nightcap, though, put a damper on OC’s homecoming festivities as the Central boys dropped a 65-52 decision to the visitors, who had upset Westview earlier in the week.
Obion Central is at home again Tuesday against 13AA foe Dyersburg, the Lady Rebs looking to avenge one of their three losses after having dropped a close decision to the Trojan girls in the championship game of the Lady Bomber Classic at Ballard Memorial before Christmas.
OC 74, Ripley 60 (G)
OC countered Ripley’s athleticsm and a game-high 31 points from Kinaisha Maclin with its trademark superior depth to remain atop the 13AA standings.
Getting on top early was crucial, according to Central skipper Lyle LaRue.
“I thought us making some shots and getting in front early was critical because it kept them from maybe spreading the floor and holding the ball, which Coach (Ralph) Turner likes to do when he gets a lead,” claimed LaRue, who played 10 players in the first quarter to begin the process of wearing down the Lady Tigers. “We’re not real effective at times in that style, and we’d rather make you hurry up and down the floor and use our depth.
“On the flip-side, I thought that fast pace was the reason Maclin had the game she did. Our style fits her perfectly.”
Goodman had 16 of her points in the first half and Tucker tallied all but two of her total over the first two periods when the Lady Rebels built a lead as large as 19 (43-23) late in the half.
A Paige Hicks 3-pointer to begin the second period helped OC build on a 20-15 advantage and its lead to double digits. Tucker’s 12-footer with under a minute to go before the break accounted for the largest difference in the first two quarters.
Obion Central remained firmly in control over the final two segments, leading by as many as 23 at one juncture.
Ripley 65, OC 52 (B)
The Rebels (8-9, 2-5) hit just 6-of-30 (20 percent) of their field goal attempts in the first half and made just one shot from the floor in the first six minutes, falling behind immediately and never catching up.
For the game, OC was 17-of-61.
“We had a layup or two and 3-pointer or two that went all the way down in the cylinder and came back out. They just wouldn’t go in,” Rebel coach Bill Kail said afterward while lammenting his team’s shooting woes.
“We had a chance or two in the second half, but when it looked like we might make a run, we couldn’t make a shot and they’d come down and make two or three in a row.”
Central made just two field goals in the first quarter and was down by double digits late in the second before Bryan Morris converted a steal into a deuce and then made a 3-pointer to help the Rebs climb within 23-19 just before the intermission. Ripley (6-10, 5-2) responded with eight straight markers of its own, however, big Keland McElrath (13 of his 15 points in the first half) dominating inside to key the spurt that left the Tigers in front by nine, 31-22, at the intermission break.
Again, late in the third period, OC got within striking distance with the aid of a couple of Tanner Noles buckets that reduced what was once a 13-point deficit to 44-38 with 90 seconds left in the frame.
Once more Ripley answered, though, scoring the last six points of the quarter to double its lead and the Rebs never mounted a serious challenge thereafter in falling to 2-5 in league play and 8-9 overall.
Jacob Wade had 16 points to lead a trio of Obion Central players in double figures with Noles added 13 and Morris chipping in with 11.
Martravous Broadnax sank five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 21 points for Ripley.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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