LADY BOMBERS HOLD OFF LADY COMETS
The Ballard Memorial Lady Bombers held off the Carlisle County Lady Comets to win the first game of 2014 by a score of 58-45. The Lady Bombers goal was to prevent Lady Comets Heaven Hooper from beating them. Their plan, run a box and one with Shelby Rollings following Hooper wherever she was on the floor, and the rest of the team playing a zone defense. This worked effectively as Hooper was held to four first half points as the Lady Bombers looked to put the Lady Comets away early.
The Lady Bombers went out to the 10-4 lead with five different players scoring to open the game. The Lady Bombers extended the lead to 17-8 at the end of the opening eight minutes. Rollings came into the game averaging three points a game and ended the opening quarter with five points to help lead the Lady Bombers to the opening quarter advantage. Leah Shelley would hit one of two free throws to push the lead to double figures at 18-8. The Lady Comets would respond and trim the lead to 20-15 and the Bombers still lead at 22-17 before Rollings hit another trey just before the half to see the Bombers lead 25-17 at the break.
After the Lady Comets trimmed the lead to 25-19, Shelley hit a couple of free throws and Rollings was fouled on a three point shot and sank all three of her free throws to push the lead back to double figures. The lead had reached twelve points when Abbi Denton made a nice feed to Rollings for a bucket and shortly after the Shelley canned a three point shot for the largest lead of the game at 44-27. The end of the third quarter saw the Bombers holding the 45-31 lead.
You knew you could only contain Hooper for so long and she came alive in the fourth quarter. She would score eight of the Lady Comets next 12 points to assist in the 16-2 run that saw the Lady Bombers 17 point advantage dwindle to three at 46-43. Hailey Houston would hit one of two free throws and Denton would hit a bucket to get the lead back to six. Hooper would score again to trim the lead to 49-45, but the Lady Bombers would not be denied. The Lady Bombers would hit six free throws, and even on a missed free throw by Denton, Shelley got the offensive rebound and put back and was fouled. Her free throw sealed the win as the Lady Bombers won 58-45.
Hooper ended four points below her average as she ended with 14 points on the game. Rollings did a fantastic job of keeping Hooper from getting the entry pass to make a shot, as most of Hooper’s points came on the offensive rebounds. Discussing the job Rollings did on Hooper, Coach Kayla Vance said, “Shelby came to play today. I am so proud of her.” Rollings said after the game, “I was given the responsibility and I did what I had to do.” She added, “It’s a pretty big deal because I feel I contributed to my team to help us win the game.”
The Lady Bombers received some pretty balanced scoring as Shelley led the way with 14 while Denton and Rollings had 13 points each. Scoring seven points each were Houston and Kenzie Blackford, while Tashion Burns had two points and both Kayto Buchanon and Ashleigh Tyson had one point. The Bombers ended the game hitting on 14 of 34 two point field goals, three of ten treys, and they connected on 21 of 36 free throws.
“We finally put four good quarters together,” said Vance of their team’s performance. In talking about looking ahead to the next few games, Vance said this is their new motto, “We are taking it one game at a time. Our first goal was to beat Carlisle. Now let’s go beat Cairo. We want to focus one game at a time and we’ll go from there.”
The Lady Bombers are now 3-8 on the year. Ballard Memorial will now face Cairo on Monday and Crittenden County on Tuesday at the Green Palace. The Lady Bombers then go to Murray on Thursday and St. Mary on Friday to end the week. On January 14th, the Lady Bombers play their second district game of the year as they face Mayfield at the Green Palace. That is the Lady Bombers last scheduled game prior to the All A, which begins on January 18th.