Lady Bombers Take Two
The Lady Bombers made short work of the Hickman County Lady Falcons on Tuesday night, January 28 in Clinton. Ballard Memorial stormed out to a 20-2 lead by the end of the first quarter and coasted to the 61-24 victory.
Leah Shelley dominated the first portion of the first quarter scoring six of the Lady Bombers first seven points. Then it was time for Hailey Houston to get in on the act. She made a couple of steals and took them the distance for a couple of layups as part of her six point outburst to help lead the Lady Bombers to the 18 point first quarter lead. That lead would reach 29-2 before the Lady Falcons would get a trey to stop the Lady Bomber run. Meghan Walker would come off the bench to put an exclamation point on the first half as she hit a running 15 foot shot at the buzzer to send the Lady Bombers into the locker room with the 37-12 advantage.
The Lady Bombers would waste little time getting the running clock into effect as Shelby Rollings bucket less than halfway through the third quarter gave Ballard Memorial the 35 point lead. Abbi Denton would score the next four points to provide the Lady Bombers their largest lead at 51-14. The Lady Bombers would lead 53-20 at the end of the third quarter. With the running clock in effect, the fourth quarter ran by with the Lady Bombers outscoring the Lady Falcons 8-4 for the 37 point victory.
Shelley would lead a trio of Lady Bombers in double figure scoring as she completed the night with 12 points while Denton and Kenzie Blackford added 11 each. Ashleigh Tyson came off the bench for nine points along with Houston who also finished with nine. Walker ended the game with four, Erin Young added three and Rollings ended with two. On the balanced scoring attack, Coach Kayla Vance said, “It was awesome and we play better ball when that’s the case. Vance added, “We have a lot of confidence. We’ve gotten so much better and they want to get better.”
The Lady Bombers then hosted the Lady Cardinals of Livingston Central on Friday night, January 31st for Homecoming. Coach Vance said the Lady Cardinals had a couple of girls that could handle the ball, but their biggest threat was their inside player, Hailee Lampley. The Lady Bombers held her in check in the first half as the Lady Bombers stormed out to a huge lead. Leah Shelley went for five points and Shelby Rollings added four in the opening minutes to take the 11-2 lead. Ballard Memorial would maintain the lead as they held the 17-8 first quarter advantage.
The second quarter saw a Lady Bomber explosion as they outscored the Lady Cardinals 12-2 to begin the second eight minutes of play. The 29-10 lead with about three minutes remaining in the half would leave little doubt in the outcome, or would it. The Lady Bombers would surrender two treys to the Lady Cardinals and would fail to score themselves, but still held the 29-16 advantage at the break. Ballard Memorial held Lampley to one bucket in the opening half to aid in the lead.
Both teams struggled offensively to start the second half. Ashleigh Tyson’s bucket with 4:41 remaining in the third ended a drought of nearly six minutes for the Lady Bombers that saw their 19 point lead shrink to 11. It took nearly two and a half minutes before Rollings canned another trey to push the lead back to 34-22. After the Lady Cardinals cut the lead to ten, Homecoming Queen Abbi Denton would score four points and the Kenzie Blackford would get a bucket to provide the Lady Bombers with the 40-27 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Lady Bombers again struggled to get any point production in the final eight minutes and Lampley would start to exert her presence on the inside. Lampley’s field goal with around five minutes remaining left the Lady Bomber lead at seven. Hailey Houston would get the first Lady Bomber points in the period with 4:23 remaining to slow the Lady Cardinal progress that saw the Lady Bombers lead 42-33. Lampley would score six unanswered points to leave the Lady Cardinals down 42-39. Denton would hit a couple of free throws and Houston would get a field goal to give the Lady Bombers just enough points to squeak out the 46-41 victory. “I think if we had played a couple of more minutes, I think we may have gotten beat,” said Coach Kayla Vance. She added, “We did not box out and we were not doing the little things. I don’t know why we stopped playing.” Abbi Denton said, “We’re going to learn from the mistakes we made and we just have to get better each game.” Denton led the team in scoring with 14, while Shelley ended with 13 points, all in the first half. Rollings had seven, Houston six, Tyson with four and Blackford ended with two.
The Lady Bombers are now 8-10 on the year and have won six of their last eight games. The Lady Bombers play the next four games on the road starting with Mayfield on Friday, February 7th before traveling to Crittenden County on Saturday. They follow that up with games at Fulton City on Monday the 19th and wrap up district play on the 11th and a possible district championship matchup with Graves County.