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Slay ride

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Liberty, Lady Eagles look rough as Minettes take win

By Mike Forster

 

A wintery mix which was making travel a dicey proposition mimicked what was happening concurrently in Staunton River's gym.

In other words, slushy road conditions mirrored slipshod basketball by both Liberty and the Lady Eagles.

It was the Minettes who emerged with the win, keeping their record spotless (at 4-0) with a 59-40 win.

"That was a sloppy game," noted Liberty Head Coach Mike Jones.

"We had a rough night," said Staunton River Head Coach Kim Jones, who saw her banged up team fall to 0-4 overall.

The game started out as a nice contest.  Liberty pulled out to a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Mikalah Jones led the way, scoring seven points in that stanza.  River's Sydney Stephens countered with four points to pace the Eagles.

Then came the rest of the game.

In the second quarter, River was able to muster a mere three points, while clanging six of its seven free throw opportunities.

Liberty moved out to an 11-point lead.  The Minettes were led by Kasey Carr's four points in that quarter.

The real damage, however, may have come near the end of the half.  River guard Megan Akers took a tumble with her noggin making contact with the floor.  They don't call 'em hardwoods for no reason, folk.  The sophomore left the game with a concussion, joining senior Whitney Cawley on the concussed list.

Mikalah Jones opened the third quarter by hitting a free throw before getting a steal and an easy layup to cement the double-digit lead.

Carr nailed a beaut of a shot from well beyond the arc as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter.

That three pointer gave Liberty an 18-point edge.  Unlike their male counterparts, the Lady Eagles were not able to put together a serious run to overcome that big deficit.

Instead, River struggled at the charity stripe.  For the game, the Lady Eagles managed a meager 8-of-24 shooting free throws.

Liberty wasn't much better, going 22-for-39.

Jones led Liberty with 22 points.

Carr had 20 points in what may have been her best performance as a Minette.  The sophomore looked comfortable directing the offense from her point guard position.  She was also quite the pest when it came to defense.

Nicole Smith was strong in the paint, muscling her way to 11 points.

Stephens was tops for River, putting up 13 points.  Rachel Wittaker added six points, while Britney Cawley had five.

"We are still working on cutting down our turnovers," said Kim Jones.  "When the girls execute and play defense, they play so much better."