Lady Rebels find themselves short-handed
George Browning, Sports Writer, [email protected]
After beating Rock Creek 48-44 on Thursday, South Central couldn’t make it two in a row as the Lady Rebels fell to visiting Clarksville 52-35 on Saturday. The two major contributors to the loss were the absence of one of the Lady Rebels’ top scorers, Lily Boley, and the Lady Generals’ size advantage at each position.
Boley injured her ankle in a loss last Wednesday to Silver Creek which left Lynne Thomas, the first-year coach at South Central, scrambling to adjust her team’s lineup.
“Lily got hurt in the last three minutes of the Silver Creek game and is battling a severe sprain,” Thomas said. “We went to Rock Creek the next night and played well there, and we knew coming into this it was going to be difficult. We only had one practice to adjust spots and things like that.”
Clarksville’s 6-foot post player, Jasmine Walker, dominated the game, scoring 16 points and grabbing 21 rebounds. The entire South Central team tallied 24 rebounds.
“She is a beast,” Thomas said of Walker. “She is hard to handle in the paint. We played them earlier in the year and knew we were going to have our hands full.”
Clarksville took control out of the gate, outscoring South Central 14-6 in the opening quarter. By halftime, the lead had grown to 12 points, 29-17.
Offensively for the Lady Rebels, only three players scored in the opening two quarters. Marie Goodwin and Kaitlyn Harl scored six points each, and Kendall Kiper contributed five.
South Central was unable to make up any ground in the third quarter but tried to close the gap early in the fourth.
A three by Kiper cut the Lady Generals’ lead to 10, 37-27.
Makaylie Patterson hit one of two free throws, and Goodwin scored two more of her 11 points, cutting the Clarksville lead to eight, 38-30.
The Lady Generals answered with a 10-0 run that was sparked by three offensive put-backs, and South Central wasn’t able to recover.
Thomas said her team was undersized at every position.
“Unfortunately, height is not something I can teach, but I wish I could,” she said. “It was the difference in their rebounding advantage. Not having Lily didn’t affect our size, but it forced us to position kids differently compared to when she is in the game. We haven’t been a great rebounding team all year.”
Even in the loss, Thomas said she was proud of her team, especially Annabelle Faith, who played point guard.
“She worked hard for us at the point guard,” Thomas said. “I don’t think she was thrilled about me moving her, but she stepped up for us and took over the last two games. Defensively, she always tries to do what I need or ask her to do. I am grateful for her and her hard work.”
Thomas also noted the offensive production of Kiper, who finished with 10 points.
“Kendall also hit three threes against Rock Creek for us,” she said. “She is getting more confident. We didn’t have a lot of experience heading into this year, but some of those inexperienced kids are starting to come on.”
South Central dropped to 2-20 and will now turn its attention to sectional play. The Lady Rebels will play the winner of the Borden-New Washington game Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Clarksville 14 15 8 15 – 52
South Central 6 11 7 11 – 35
Clarksville (4-18) – Jasmine Walker 16, Mackenzie Spalding 14, Kylie Perez 11, Daveona Miles 4, Emma Winsor 3, Myah Bagshaw 2, Dahja Gaines 2.
South Central (2-20) – Marie Goodwin 11, Kendall Kiper 10, Kaitlyn Harl 6, Annabelle Faith 4, Georgia Faith 2, Makaylie Patterson 1, Millie Spencer 1.
3-point goals – Clarksville 3 (Perez 2, Spalding 1); South Central 3 (Kiper 2, Goodwin 1).