Lady Eagles finish LA sweep

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MERRY HILL – Couldn’t make it two.

The Lawrence Academy girl’s basketball team – which won its first game of the year over Terra Ceia the last time they played at home – couldn’t keep the streak going as they fell to Bethel Christian Academy in a non-conference game 39-11 here Tuesday.

The win gave Bethel a season-sweep of the Lady Warriors having taken earlier contests during the 2011 Lt. Nick Brantley Tournament and later in Askewville.

The Lady Eagles did it by book-ending a pair of big outbursts: a 13 point first quarter and 14 more points in the fourth.

Elizabeth Farmer led Bethel with a dozen points while Kelsie Conner added 11. Hallie Corbett was leading scorer for Lawrence with five.

“It was one of those nights where I could get everybody into the game and let them play,” said Bethel coach Ashley Byrum. “I played my starters, but they just weren’t hitting and that’s why the game was as close as it was.”

“I was surprised they shot so poorly,” said Lawrence coach Frank Baker, “but they’ve got some good girls and some quick girls and we had a hard time making shots.”

Bethel wasted little time establishing the pace with their up-and-down the floor play.  While they may have been off-the-mark from their usual scoring night they still were able to get out to a 13-2 lead.

Conner was able to rule to backboards, collecting 16 caroms on the night.  Charitee Dunlow was held below her scoring average, but made up for it with her own hard work on the floor as she hauled down 11 rebounds to go with seven steals.

Such second effort on the glass was back up by a seven-point performance by Conner scoring both in the low post and along the baseline.

Bethel did another outstanding job in the second quarter, holding Lawrence scoreless from the floor.  But the Lady Warrior defense deserves some credit as well, since Bethel’s reserves only managed six points in the frame.

Just 21 points was scored by both teams as Bethel took a 19-2 lead into the locker-room at halftime.

Holly McNair opened the third quarter by breaking the drought for Lawrence with a short jump shot.  Kristen Adams came back with a field goal for Bethel followed by a Conner layup before Corbett finally got one to fall for the Lady Warriors.

Lawrence could have had more, but went 2-for-4 from the free throw line and the third quarter ended with the home team trailing, 25-8.

Lawrence had more chances to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter, but again went scoreless from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Byrum reinserted his starters and they went on a 7-0 run.

Conner started things with a put-back layup. Jessica Howerton then made a free throw and a layup on back-to-back possessions and Adams finished things with a layup.  Adams finished with four points and five steals.

Priscilla Lunsford got the final field goal for Lawrence to break the Bethel streak, but the Lady Eagles tacked on seven more points to the Warriors lone free throw to make for the final score.

“I opened with my starters and I ended with them to keep the chemistry there,” said Byrum.  “The defense was good with 14 steals by halftime,” he added, “but we’ve got to shoot the ball better.”

“Maybe my defense worked good tonight,” chuckled Baker. “Our offense was mighty poor, but we do the best we can do. They don’t quit.”

Ridgecroft comes to Merry Hill to meet Lawrence Thursday night and the Warriors close the regular season 22 hours later with Albemarle.