Dempsey delivers as Garden hands Rock first loss
Sports Editor at the beginning of the season with Tykeah out with her (foot) surgery and Madison getting her rhythm back, I think that phase of the season has helped the others develop,” Austin said. “They had a lot more on them, and we’re starting to see that now. We talked about taking this negative and turning it into a positive. Some of the supporting players became big players tonight.
“AJ Broome, I’m tickled to death with the way she played. Payton always plays well. She hit a huge 3-pointer for us at the end of the fourth quarter, and nobody was happier than Tiyonna was (when she hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter). She’s got a great shot and we’re going to let her shoot that shot. I was tickled to death to see it go in for her. These girls are together and they all pull for each other.”
Spring Garden took a 15-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and held a 26-20 advantage at halftime. The Lady Panthers stretched their lead to 41-33 after three quarters, thanks to Tiyonna Rogers’s trey at the buzzer.
Sand Rock (8-1) managed to cut Spring Garden’s lead to four at 41-37 on a pair of free throws by senior forward Morgan Bone with just under six minutes remaining, but the Lady Panthers (5-2) closed out the game on an 8-4 run, including a trey by McGinnis.
Spring Garden connected on nine 3-pointers for the game.
“They’re Spring Garden. They hit threes,” Sand Rock coach Lisa Bates said. “The Dempsey girl was really on fire. We did a good job on Tykeah, but we’ve got to score more. We did not produce on the offensive end, but hat’s off to Spring Garden. They played the best defense we’ve seen. We’ve just got to adjust to it and get more offense. We’re going to get to where we score on a better defense like that. That’s something we’ve got to work on. It was good for us. It shows us what we need to work on.”
Madison McCullough led the Lady Wildcats with 12 points, three steals, two rebounds and an assist. Sabryn Chandler contributed 10 points, 10 boards and a steal. Emily Langley had seven points, five rebounds and five assists. Bone finished with six points, eight boards and an assist.
SAND ROCK – Sand Rock’s towering presence in the paint proved too much for Spring Garden to overcome in boys basketball action on Thursday.
Joel Brock and Dakoda Mackey both tossed in 16 points in leading Sand Rock to a 56-40 victory. Brock also grabbed 13 rebounds and had three assists for the Wildcats (4-5). Mackey also added three assists, two blocks, two boards and a steal.
“I hope this gets us back on track,” Sand Rock coach Brian Mackey said. “Spring Garden played hard. They switched stuff, some stuff we haven’t seen. We knew we had to go inside, and we did a good job going inside to open up the outside. I thought we took better shots because we pounded it inside. We set things up. We didn’t push as much as we do normally. We were able to slow things down a little bit.”
Sand Rock led 17-9 at the end of the first quarter and held a 2715 advantage at halftime. The Wildcats maintained a 40-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“We haven’t played a team that big that affected our shots,” Austin said. “I guess as an outsider, people are wondering why in the world I’m playing them a man defense when they’re so big. If we’ve got a chance to get better, if we can learn to be in the right position as big as they are, that helps us when we’ve got to win down the road. It was great practice for us.
“We wanted to win. We wanted to beat Sand Rock, but at the same time, we got pretty good defensively tonight. I told the guys they lost but they did not take a step backwards. That tells me a lot about them. We’re just a couple of missed shots and some missed free throws from really being in that game. I’m proud of their effort.”
Dylan Rogers led the Class 1A, No. 7 Panthers (4-2) with 14 points. Tanner Parker tallied eight points and Riley Austin finished with six points.
Alex McMahan came away with eight points, three boards and a steal for Sand Rock. Caylon Simpson finished with six points, six boards and three assists.
Spring Garden’s Savannah Dempsey squares up for a 3-pointer against Sand Rock on Thursday.