CCHS girls top Friendship in a close battle, but fall to the Lady Blue Devils



CELINA-The Clay County Lady Bulldogs battled the Jackson County girls, ranked third in the state, for three quarters on the road before falling, but came home on Friday night to beat Friendship Christian by three points for the second time this season.

The Lady Bulldogs had earlier beaten the FCS girls 61-58, and topped the Lady Commanders here on Friday night by a 50-47 score, giving them a  14-6 record heading into this week’s play. Clay County had a 4-2 District 7-A record and were alone in third place heading into last night’s game at Monterey.

CCHS led basically all the way against the Lady Commanders, and fought off a couple of FCS comebacks in the final two quarters. The Lady Bulldogs led 13-9 after one and 23-14 at intermission with a good defensive effort, limiting FCS to only five points in the second quarter. Tristan Watson, Rachel Burnette (who wound up as the leading scorer) and freshman Sydney Roach accounted for most of the first-half scoring with eight, six and five points, respectively.

A three-pointer and a layup by Sarah Ogletree pushed the Clay County lead out to 28-15 early in the third quarter, but a flurry of CCHS fouls and four three-pointers by Friendship helped get the Lady Commanders back in the game. They cut the lead to five twice before two buckets by Kayla Kimes and one by Roach, on a nice assist from Emma Ogletree, made it 40-31. FCS scored the final five points of the quarter, though, to cut the lead to 40-36 heading into the final eight minutes.

Sarah Ogletree jumped the lead back out to seven with another three-pointer to start the fourth quarter, but Friendship stayed close over the next four minutes. A Roach steal and bucket made it 47-40 at the 3:30 mark, but the Lady Commanders wouldn’t give up. They cut the lead to 47-45 at the two-minute mark, but Amelia Kirk made it a four-point game on an assist from Roach with 1:30 left.

Friendship cut the lead to 49-47 on a pair of free throws with 46.8 seconds left, and the Lady Dawgs turned the ball over against the FCS press as they tried to get the ball upcourt. The Lady Commanders couldn’t connect on their next attempt from the field, and CCHS got the rebound and went to the line, but couldn’t convert.

FCS turned the ball over after grabbing the rebound and Roach went to the line with exactly 10 seconds left. She connected on one of two to make it 50-47, and a Kimes steal on the ensuing Lady Commander possession sealed the win. The junior guard dribbled out the clock with no possible game-tying field goal attempt from FCS.  Burnette and Roach were the double-figure scorers for CCHS.

LADY DAWGS (50)-Kirk 4, Kimes 5, S. Ogletree 8, T. Watson 8, Burnette 12, Roach 10, Key 2, E. Ogletree 1.

Jackson County……………..56

Lady Dawgs…………………..37

The CCHS girls battled the state’s third-ranked team in Class A tooth-and-nail through three quarters, but the lid went on the basket in the fourth quarter and the Lady Blue Devils pulled away. 

Jackson County used scoring margins of eight and 14 in the second and fourth quarters, respectively, to remain once-beaten in District 7-A play and hand the Lady Bulldogs their second loss in the district.  CCHS actually won the scoring battle in the first and third periods by small margins, but a four-point final quarter by the Lady Dawgs sealed the verdict for Jackson County. 

The Lady Dawgs won the first quarter 12-11, but the defending state champ Lady Blue Devils warmed up for 20 second-quarter points to grab a 31-24 lead at the half.  Clay County chipped away at the lead in a low-scoring third period to trail only 38-33 heading into the fourth quarter, but could manage only four points in the final eight minutes.

Jackson County regained its shooting touch in the period, scoring 18 to win handily. Amelia Kirk scored 12 to lead CCHS, while Laken Leonard poured in 31 points to lead Jackson County. 

LADY DAWGS (37)-S. Ogletree 2, Kimes 6, Kerr 7, T. Watson 6, Kirk 12, E. Ogletree 4.  

CCHS freshman guard Sydney Roach battles with a pair of RBS players, casting a mirror image on the floor.

CCHS freshman guard Sydney Roach battles with a pair of RBS players, casting a mirror image on the floor.