OC gals get even, breathing room

OC gals get even, breathing room
OC gals get even, breathing room

Obion Central’s Tristin Terry puts up a shot during the Lady Rebels’ win on Tuesday night.
Obion Central got even and, in the process, pulled further ahead.
The fifth-ranked Lady Rebels avenged one of their three losses and put some space between themselves and one of their closest pursuers in District 13AA with a 62-52 victory over No. 8 Dyersburg Tuesday night at Troy.
OC remained perfect in league play (8-0) and improved to 19-3 overall while dropping the Lady Trojans to 5-3 and 15-4, respectively, and in third-place now behind Westview in the district standings.
The contest was a rematch of state-ranked teams earlier won by D’burg 72-67 in the championship game of the Ballard Memorial Lady Bomber Classic in December.
Junior guard Macy Wright became a member of the school’s 1,000-point Club in the second quarter of the Lady Rebel triumph and Paige Hicks picked up the slack after Wright had fouled out by scoring eight of her 16 markers during a two-minute span in the fourth period that helped Central stave off a Dyersburg rally.
The Obion Central boys failed to hold up their end of the deal in the nightcap as the Trojans salvaged a sweep when the Rebels turned in their second straight dismal shooting effort in a 61-40 loss.
The Rebs (8-10, 2-6) made just 32 percent of their shots from the floor (14-of-44) after hitting but 27 percent against Ripley on Friday.
OC, which lost its third straight game since the beginning of the new year, ended up with 10 more turnovers than it had made-field goals, and was largely outhustled for most of the contest by a gritty D’burg squad that improved to 11-7 and 6-2.
The Central squads hit the road Friday for their next games, a 13AA twinbill at Crockett County.
OC 62, Dyersburg 52 (G)
For one night anyway, Obion Central skipper Lyle LaRue insisted the reverse of the old “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” adage was true.
“I thought we won the game in the first quarter, just like they won the first game between us and them in the first quarter,” claimed LaRue, whose club bolted to a 10-0 advantage and led by as many as 14 points in the first half before enduring a second-half drought that included just two field goals in the third period.
“We couldn’t make anything there in the third quarter, and we had to back out of our press because of foul trouble and not being able to handle (Kay K.) Tate and (Jolyta) Taylor. So much of our offense is created by our defense, and we just never found a rhythm there in the second half.”
Treys by Wright and Billie Dee Preuett highlighted Central’s game-opening burst before the Lady Trojans fought back in the second half to make a game of it.
D’burg opened the third stanza with a 10-2 flurry after trailing 37-27 at the intermission to get within a deuce. Wright’s 3-pointer helped keep the Lady Rebs in front, though the visitors still were within four twice in the final four minutes of the contest.
After Wright was whistled for her fifth foul on a charge with 4:06 to play, Hicks shouldered much of the ball-handling and scoring responsibilities for Central.
The sophomore guard hit for six straight points over a 45-second span to keep her team in front, then twice made 1-of-2 free throws with less than a minute to go to stretch the difference to 58-52 after Tate had pulled the Trojan girls within two possessions with the last of her 10 fourth-quarter points.
OC’s Mackenzie Tucker then sealed the verdict with four consecutive charities in the final half-minute.
Wright, who achieved her personal milestone in the second period, finished with 17 points atop the list of Lady Rebels in double figures. Hicks added 16, and both Tucker and Brandi Goodman tallied 11 each.
Dyersburg’s Tate led all point-makers with 22 with teammate Taylor a point behind.
Dyersburg 61, OC 40 (B)
Central actually scored the game’s first four points before the Trojans went on a 17-2 run to take over and never look back.
“We’re awful quick to get down on ourselves,” Rebel coach Bill Kail said. “We got a couple of buckets and looked good, then we turned it over two or three times and sorta hung our heads. When it gets tight, we seem to try to beat people as individuals and not together as a whole.
“The thing that bothered me the most, though, is that I saw them beating us to loose balls and rebounds and generally outscrapping us. That’s not what I expected from my team.”
Down 32-24 at the half, OC quickly fell out of striking distance by making just two field goals in the third period — both by Tanner Noles.
It was 49-30 at the third-quarter horn.
A deuce and then a trifecta by Noles midway through the final frame shaved the difference to 50-37 and gave the county locals hope of a comeback, but Central would make just one more shot in the final 4:46.
Noles was OC’s lone semblance of offense, hitting for a team-high 16 points, including four of his club’s five shots from beyond the arc.
Ex-Obion County School System middle school standout Winn Decker led a balanced attack for the victors with 13 markers.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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