The Bauxite Lady Miners improved to 2-0 in the 7-4A conference with a 49-44 victory over the Nashville Lady Scrappers on Friday night at Fred Dawson Gym in Bauxite.
“It was a good game,” Bauxite Coach Josh Harrison said. “It was closely contested. They jumped on us early.”
The Lady Miners (9-3, 2-0) scored the first two baskets of the game, but the Lady Scrappers ended up taking a 13-6 lead after the first quarter.
Bauxite picked up the defense to take a 20-17 halftime lead.
“It was a low-scoring game for both teams,” Harrison said. “Both teams were playing pretty good defense. The refs were letting us be kind of physical so it was kind of nice to not have anyone in foul trouble.”
Early on the third quarter, both teams were trading baskets, but the Lady Miners ended up with eight fouls in the quarter on ‘silly,’ over-the-back fouls. Nashville outscored Bauxite 22-16 in the third quarter to take a three-point lead into the fourth.
Down by three points with a little over six minutes left in the game, the Lady Miners ran a screen to get senior forward Alaina Crouse a 3-point shot. Crouse caught it and went up for the shot, but was fouled going up. She made all three foul shots to tie it and Bauxite would not trail after that.
“In the fourth, we stepped up and made some plays,” Harrison said.
Sophomore Allison Tackett hit a jump shot and junior Mary Crow hit a layup for an and 1 to put the Lady Miners up by four points and Bauxite played keep away after that, making the Lady Scrappers foul them.
“It was a fiercely contested game,” Harrison said. “We got lucky and came out of it with a win because it was a battle.
“Nashville is one of those teams I fully expect to be one of the best teams in our conference.”
Crouse led the Lady Miners with 13 points and Crow had 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and six steals.
“[Crow] got some fast breaks going when we were in a defensive lull,” Harrison said.
Tackett had 10 points, junior Makayla Blanchett had six and junior Morgan Case had four points off the bench. Sophomores Ashley Eisenhauer and Jessica Sorvillo had two points apiece.
The Lady Miners don’t play next until Dec. 27 when they compete in the Jessieville Christmas Classic, and Harrison said his team needs the time off.
“The girls need a little bit of a break from playing,” he said. “We have a couple of a little dinks and danks. Alaina has been nursing a strained Achilles the last couple of games. She needs a little bit of a break.”
The Bauxite Miners had a little bit of an easier job in their second 7-4A conference game than the Lady Miners in dispensing of the Nashville Scrappers 56-40 on Friday night in Bauxite.
The Miners (7-3, 2-0) outplayed the Scrappers, leading 13-10 after the first quarter. Bauxite played good defense in taking a 28-20 lead into the half.
“We played really well in the first half defensively,” Bauxite Coach Mark Smith said. “We played pretty well offensively too. We missed some shots that we should have made, but overall, we played well in the first half.”
Senior Cody McPherson and junior Tyler Hill accounted for 93 percent of Bauxite’s scoring against Nashville. McPherson scored 28 points and Hill had 24. Senior Chris Revas had three points and sophomore Trent Rooks added a point to finish up the scoring.
“They couldn’t stop Cody,” Smith said. “Cody scored just about every time he wanted to get to the rim.
“Tyler Hill shot the ball really well. He only missed two or three shots the whole night. He was really on.”
Though McPherson and Hill had the offense covered, Smith said the player of the night for the Miners may have been 5-6 senior Jared Hicks with his defensive play. “Jared Hicks didn’t score a point, but could’ve been the most valuable player the way he was playing defense,” Smith said. “He was everywhere. He played the best game he’s had all year without scoring a point.”
The Miners led 43-28 going into the fourth quarter and handled the Scrappers the rest of the way. Smith really likes what assistant coach Andy Brakebill is doing with the defense. .
“Our defense was really good,” he said. “Coach Brakebill has really got our defense going. He’s a big credit to the success we’re having right now - the defense that he has brought with him. The Miners don’t play again until Dec. 27 when they play in the Carlisle Christmas Tournament.
“The win gives our guys confidence that they need going into the Carlisle Tournment. It gives our guys some momentum we need, especially after the tournament when conference starts. I’m really proud of how our guys are playing right now.”