In front of a packed crowd at Fred Dawson Gymnasium, the Bauxite Lady Miners held off the Nashville Lady Scrappers in a nail bitter, 44-43, Thursday in Bauxite. The win would improve the Lady Miners to 9-3 on the season and 2-0 in 7-4A Conference play, while dropping the Lady Scrappers to 3-3 and 1-1.

“I saw a good spark from a lot of the kids,” said an exhausted Head Coach Spencer Gay. “I knew we were going to turn the ball over a lot. I just wanted to defend well, and I felt we did that.”

The Lady Scrapper defense was disruptive and aggressive from the start. Bauxite would struggle to bring the ball up court and set up the offense all game long. 

“We hadn’t seen that press all year long,” said Gay. “I think we responded well and were able to score enough to carry us at the end.”

Contrary to Tuesday night’s performance, the Lady Miners struggled from beyond the arc thanks to Nashville’s pressing defense. While the Lady Scrapper defense was able to force turnovers, they couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities. This allowed Bauxite to take a 23-17 lead into halftime. 

CYNIA JOHNSON

Bauxite senior Cynia Johnson, 3, goes up for a shot in a game earlier this season. Johnson scored a season-high 11 points in a 44-43 win over nashville Thursday at Fred Dawson Gym in Bauxite. 

As the second half progressed, Bauxite would lean on the front court play of seniors Cynia Johnson and Lauren Bainter. The Lady Scrapper defense would remain aggressive and disruptive but provide opportunities for the Lady Miner offense.

Johnson would score nine of her season-high 11 points in the third quarter, while Bainter was providing a defensive presence in the paint and on the boards. 

However, Nashville’s balanced attack would allow them to stay in the game. Freshman Lauren Carver and senior Chloe Graham would each hit threes to kickstart a Lady Scrapper comeback. The comeback would be capped off by a Sidney Townsend layup to cut Bauxite’s lead to one with 11 seconds left. 

Bauxite’s Olivia McDade would be fouled but miss the front end of a 1-and-1 to give Nashville the ball back with 4.4 seconds left. Down one, Townsend would have one last layup attempt, but Cynia Johnson defended the shot as time expired to secure a Lady Miner win.

Bainter led the Lady Miners with 15 points and Johnson finished with 11. Nashville’s Kyleigh Scoggins and Lauren Carver each provided nine points. 

The Lady Miners will travel to Alma as part of the Alma Christmas Tournament on Dec. 26. Their first game will be against Lavaca (5-10, 2-0) at 6 p.m.

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