COLBERT – Katherine Hair scored eighteen points on Tuesday night as the Colbert Lady Leopards held on to defeat the visiting Byng Lady Pirates, 55-46.
The Lady Pirates erased an early fifteen-point deficit and cut the Colbert lead down to five with less than a minute remaining in the game. Solid defense and a few clutch free-throws helped the Lady Leopards secure the victory and remain undefeated with a record of 4-0.
Ginavee Mowles scored eleven points and Bailee Weger also finished in double-figures with ten points. Darian Bradford scored nine points and Taylor Lyons chipped in five points.
It looked like the outcome would be decided in the first quarter as the Lady Leopards outscored Byng 17-2 in the first eight minutes. “We came out with a lot of intensity and I was proud of our effort,” said Colbert coach Chris Gillespie. Hair scored eleven of her eighteen points in the opening quarter.
The Lady Pirates started to chip away at the lead in the second quarter and trailed the Lady Leopards 25-15 at the half.
Ashton Johnson and Breecia Crawford combined for thirteen points in the third quarter as the Lady Pirates pulled to within four points of the lead. “They started to come back gradually and just kept going on runs,” said Gillespie. “I told the girls to stay in the offense and keep up the intensity. It seemed like a big lead but it really wasn’t.”
The Lady Leopards found some breathing room early in the fourth quarter with three-pointers from Weger, Bradford, and Mowles. Johnson had another big quarter for the Lady Pirates but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
“Overall, I thought we played well but I’m hoping for fewer mistakes next time,” said Gillespie. The Lady Leopards will be on the road for their next game on December 4 against the Kingston Lady Redskins.
The Colbert Leopards were defeated by the Byng Pirates 55-27 in the second game. The Leopards struggled to score in the early stages and were unable to get much going against a stout defensive effort from the Pirates.
Charles Adams led the Leopards in scoring with nine points. Darius Johnson finished with eight points and Caleb Shoemake scored six points.Payton Whitehead and James Hair rounded out the scoring for Colbert with two points apiece.
“I thought that Charles Adams played hard tonight on both ends of the floor,” said Colbert coach Tony Robinson after the game. “He had a few shots that just didn’t drop for him tonight.”
The Leopards trailed 7-3 after a low-scoring first quarter but the Pirates outscored the Leopards 18-5 in the second to take a 25-8 lead at the break.
The Leopards had a more offensively productive third quarter. Adams scored six of his nine points and Johnson scored all eight including a four-point play after he was fouled on a successful three-point attempt. The Pirates continued to pad their lead in the fourth quarter en route to the victory.
“I didn’t think we really competed from the get go tonight,” said Robinson. “We need to be more disciplined and start applying what we learn in practice to the games. We also need to work on developing positive habits.”
The Leopards will get a chance to bounce back on December 4 against the Redskins in Kingston.