Teamwork, defensive pressure make homecoming a success

BY BRIAN BESCH, Enterprise staff
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The Lady Pirates used a press and ball movement to take down Rosehill Christian 54-43 at homecoming in Leggett Friday night.

Leggett began with a low post presence from Ashley Collins, who had six first quarter points to give the Lady Pirates an early advantage in the contest. Tyanna Barlow raced out with 15 points in the opening frame, pacing the Leggett offense.

Rosehill was accurate early on from the outside, hitting three attempts from behind the arc. Two were from Mariah Baz, who led the Lady Eagles with 17 for the night.

Starter Kaycee Mitchell went down with a shoulder injury early in the game. Barlow said Mitchell is a starter that plays big minutes and usually contributes to the Lady Pirate point total.

A smothering defense and full-court press made it difficult for Rosehill Christian to maintain a consistent offense, but turnovers and unforced errors plagued Leggett in the second period. The two teams entered the midway break with a 31-25 home team lead.

"I saw some good and I saw some bad," Leggett Coach Terri Barlow said. "We kind of broke away as a team for a while, arguing a little bit on the floor, but we had some good passes and played good team ball."

Rosehill was able to close the margin of lead to 39-37 in the third by using its height to eliminate Lady Pirate second chances on the boards. The Lady Eagles found gaps in the Leggett zone, hitting several uncontested buckets.

However, Leggett would again distance itself with the press in the final quarter. Though out of sync at times, the Lady Pirates created opportunities for each other, spreading the points between Barlow, Brianna Criswell, Keyera Korona and Olivia Battise.

"They run the press pretty good sometimes and sometimes I get too relaxed and laid back," Barlow said. "Our strength is teamwork when we play a good team ball, but our weakness is hustling and getting back (on defense). We don't rotate to the right spot and help each other on defense."

Barlow led all scores with 25, while Battise finished with nine and Collins added eight.

"When it comes to it, she'll give (the ball) up," Barlow said of her daughter and leading scorer. "She makes me frustrated sometimes, because she gives it up when she shouldn't, but she shares the ball and they are all looking for each other. That's what I like about this team."

Baz had 17 and Halle Staib ended with 13 for the visitors from Tomball.

The coach said she expects her squad to compete for a district banner this year, with one other Polk County school their biggest challenge.

"I think we will come out first or second and Goodrich is our main competition."

Lady Lions pick up pace in second half to defeat Shepherd

BY LINDA JACOBS, Enterprise staff
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LIVINGSTON—Livingston distanced themselves from a one point game at the break by outscoring the visiting Shepherd Lady Pirates 28-20 in the second half to secure a 47-38 win Friday night at Lion gym.

Both teams were held to under 20 points in the first half as Livingston maintained a slim 19-18 advantage after two quarters.

D’Asia Ivory grabs a rebound in action against the Shepherd Lady Pirates. Ivory posted a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 47-38 Lion victory.  (Staff photo by Linda Jacobs)D’Asia Ivory grabs a rebound in action against the Shepherd Lady Pirates. Ivory posted a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 47-38 Lion victory. (Staff photo by Linda Jacobs)D'Asia Ivory, who led the Lady Lions with 16 points and 10 rebounds, pitched in eight of her game high points in the third and teammate Jhonrekia Ramsey-Dunn, who was runner up with 11 points, followed suit and scored five in the third and added two treys in the fourth to pace the Lions to their seventh win of the season.

"I thought we played okay," commented Lady Lion head coach Dan Baird. "I don't think we played great, we did just well enough to win."

The victory evened the Lady Lions record to 7-7 for the year. They are just two wins shy of surpassing their entire win total (nine) from a year ago. "That's the good news, and we still have 13 district games and four tournament games to go," said Baird, who added that his team has made improvements from a year ago.

"We do a lot of things better this year, like pushing the ball and our man to man defense is better."
The Lady Lions hustled on defense and picked up seven steals against the Lady Pirates and also out rebounded Shepherd by a 43-42 margin.

Aiding the team on offense was Takira Taylor who pitched in nine points plus had four rebounds and three steals. Shy'Teria Harrell and Jasmine Randolph scored four points apiece. Randolph also grabbed eight rebounds and tossed out a game high three assists. Shykia Phillips added two points and hauled down eight rebounds and had one blocked shot for the Lions. Nykiah Youngblood rounded out the scorecard with one free throw and one rebound.

A solid third quarter gave the Lady Lions the edge against the Pirates. Jasmine Randolph broke a 19-19 tie by scoring on a putback at the 6:45 mark for a 21-19 lead. Livingston never trailed again as Randolph's basket started a 7-0 run which would extend their lead to 26-19 with 5:46 left.

Livingston's largest lead in the third (12 points) came following a Phillips rebound and toss to speedy Jhonrekia Ramsey-Dunn who went the full court for a layup to make it 33-21 with 3:42 left in the third. Dunn would add one more layup and Ivory scored on a putback as the Lions went up by 11 (36-25) with 1:57 left.

Unfortunately, the Pirates cut the lead to six by the end of the frame, 36-30.

Livingston started the fourth with a 7-0 run, courtesy of one free throw by Ivory and back-to-back treys from Ramsey-Dunn which built Livingston's lead to 43-30 at the 5:31 mark.

A Takira Taylor layup put the Lions up again by 13 points (45-32) with 4:35 left. Shepherd cut the lead to seven (45-38) with 3:21 left by scoring six unanswered points. The 6-0 run was their final hoorah, however, as Livingston managed the final basket of the game when Ivory drove the baseline for a basket at the 3:10 mark, 47-38.

Tournament action
The freshman and JV Lady Lions played a pair of tournament games earlier on Friday. The freshman lost to Dickinson 44-19 and the JV's were nipped 34-29 by Aggieland Academy.

Top freshman scorers were, Ayramee Cooper, 14; Ryan Richards and Taylor Evans, two points each; and Kierra Jackson, one free throw.

Top JV scorers were, De'Breonia Cooper and Briana Hutchinson, 10 apiece; Wendi Allen, four; NyKeria O'Guin, three; and Amya Handy, two points.

District 18-5A action
All three teams will travel to Caney Creek Tuesday to battle the Lady Panthers in District 18-5A action.