Hol­i­day Hoops Tour­na­ment played in De­catur

Lady Bull­dogs fall to Lady Dragons in sec­ond round of De­catur tour­na­ment

Westside Eagle-Observer - - SPORTS - MIKE ECKELS meck­[email protected]

DE­CATUR — The De­catur Lady Bull­dogs made a lit­tle his­tory Nov. 26 when they played host in the fifth an­nual De­catur Hol­i­day Hoops Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment at Peter­son Gym in De­catur. In the five years of the tour­na­ment, no Lady Bull­dog team has ever won a firstround game. This year’s team ac­com­plished just that.

The Lady Bull­dogs were joined in this year’s tour­na­ment by Moun­tain­burg, Mul­berry, Life Way Chris­tian, Union Chris­tian, St. Paul, Eureka Springs, and Ex­eter, Mo. The five-day tour­na­ment be­gan Nov. 26, with the Lady Bull­dogs tak­ing on the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets from Mul­berry.

De­catur quickly gained con­trol of the first quar­ter, due in part to great of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive work by Sam­mie Sk­aggs, Annabelle Schop­per and Kaylee Mo­rales. The three com­bined to score a to­tal of nine points while hold­ing the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets score­less in the first quar­ter. De­catur con­tin­ued to hold Mul­berry score­less for the first two min­utes of the sec­ond quar­ter while build­ing on its lead. But the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets fi­nally broke their score­less streak and hit a bas­ket with six min­utes left in the half. By the break, the Lady Bull­dogs had amassed an eight-point lead over the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets.

Dur­ing the sec­ond half, both teams’ of­fenses went cold, with nei­ther able to dom­i­nate dur­ing the re­main­der of the con­test. The De­catur Lady Bull­dogs held on, tak­ing a 2721 win over the Mul­berry Lady Yel­low­jack­ets and ad­vanc­ing to the win­ners’ bracket to face the Moun­tain­burg Lady Dragons Nov. 28.

Lead­ing the scor­ing drive for the Lady Bull­dogs was Sam­mie Sk­aggs with 13, fol­lowed by Annabelle Schop­per with eight, Kaylee Mo­rales with four, and Abby Til­ley with two.

In the sec­ond round, the Lady Bull­dogs faced one of the strong­est teams in the tour­na­ment, the Moun­tain­burg Lady Dragons. From the open­ing tipoff, De­catur played one of its strong­est con­tests to date, keep­ing pace with Moun­tain­burg through­out the first three quar­ters.

Dur­ing the first quar­ter, De­catur put up a two-pointer for the first points of the game. But Moun­tain­burg an­swered with a three-pointer on its next pos­ses­sion, tak­ing over the lead and hold­ing it through much of the quar­ter. The Lady Bull­dogs start­ing hit­ting the bucket late and tied the con­test at 12-all go­ing into the sec­ond quar­ter.

It was more of a de­fen­sive sec­ond quar­ter as both teams scor­ing drives went flat. By the end of the half, both teams hit a to­tal of six points each and the score re­mained tied.

Moun­tain­burg’s of­fense be­gan hit­ting late in the third quar­ter, al­low­ing the Lady Dragons to take a five-point lead go­ing into the fi­nal eight min­utes of the con­test.

De­catur tried to make a run on the lead but sim­ply ran out of steam by the end of the game. The Moun­tain­burg Lady Dragons claimed the vic­tory, 49-31, over the Lady Bull­dogs, elim­i­nat­ing De­catur from the tour­na­ment.

The Moun­tain­burg Lady Dragons even­tu­ally won the Hol­i­day Hoops Tour­na­ment in the cham­pi­onship round on Dec. 1 against the St. Paul Lady Saints, who took sec­ond in the tour­na­ment.

Lead­ing scorer for De­catur was Sk­aggs with 14. Other Lady Bull­dogs adding to the scor­ing ef­fort in­cluded Des­tiny Me­jia, Mo­rales and Schop­per, each with four, and Til­ley and Mayra Flores with three each.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

Des­tiny Me­jia (De­catur 3) and Jor­gia Rutherford (Moun­tain­burg 21) fight for con­trol of a re­bound dur­ing the first quar­ter of the Lady Bull­dogs-Lady Dragons bas­ket­ball con­test at Peter­son Gym in De­catur Nov. 28.

West­side Ea­gle Ob­server/MIKE ECKELS

Abby Til­ley (De­catur 23) eyes the bas­ket as she drib­bles into po­si­tion for a jumper dur­ing the first round of the De­catur Hol­i­day Hoops Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment at Peter­son Gym in De­catur Nov. 26. The Lady Bull­dogs de­feated the Mul­berry Lady Yel­low­jack­ets to ad­vance to the sec­ond round of the tour­na­ment Nov. 28.

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