Baux­ite splits in con­fer­ence play

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Con­nor Good­son Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

BAUX­ITE – 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.

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.

GREG Davis/spe­cial to The Saline Courier

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.

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