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Two much Johnson & Massie for Lady Rebels

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Lady Rebels starting 5 Lady Rebels Nafieh in lane

TRA Lady Rebel forward Emily Fisher goes up for a shot against FACS last week.

TRA Lady Rebel forward Emily Fisher goes up for a shot against FACS last week.

Youth was the name of the game last Tuesday in the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Gymnasium.
The FACS Lady Crusaders two leading scorers were a freshman and sophomore in Shay Johnson and Bionka Massie respectively. On the other side, the TRA Lady Rebels were led by senior Bethany Berger and her two freshmen teammates Molly Word and Emily Fisher.
The highly-contested game came down to which team made the fewest mistakes. And the miscues plaguing Keith Cox’s Lady Rebels were missed layups and missed chances at rebounds leading to a 47-39 win for FACS.
“We were right there,” Cox said. “FACS is a solid team, but we were right there. We had every opportunity. I told them we were up there after the first quarter. They hit a shot right there at the end. We probably should have been up 10. We missed I don’t know how many open layup there.
“We got hammered on the boards and we missed a lot of easy shots we’ve got to make,” he added. “I’m still proud of them because we got down double digits in the third quarter. We battled back and cut it down to three. They have a lot of advantages. They have a lot of size inside. They have two girls who are big and two guards with a lot of speed.”
Those guards with speed were point guard Johnson and shooting guard Massie. The duo combined for 31 points with Massie leading the way with 17.
But early on it was the Lady Rebels in control behind the inside scoring of Fisher and teammate Ally Naifeh. Berger and Word provided an outside scoring punch to give TRA a 12-10 lead after one quarter.
The Lady Crusaders responded in the second quarter outscoring TRA 16-4. FACS added to its 26-16 halftime lead to go ahead 30-16. Berger ended TRA’s field drought with a jumper.
Then it was time for “Beast Mode.” Taylor Beasley helped the Lady Rebels cut into the deficit locating teammates like Naifeh for a layup.
Seconds later the junior guard hit Naifeh again in the low block. The TRA center used a hook shot to connect making the score 30-22.
Word made the score 30-25 draining a three-pointer. TRA continued to share the ball on the next possession when Berger hit an open Word for a jumper to make the score 30-27.
FACS answered TRA’s 11-0 run with a 9-3 rally to close out the third quarter to lead 39-30. In the fourth quarter Berger scored five points to make the score 39-35. But the Lady Crusaders held on for the victory outscoring the Lady Rebels 8-4 down the stretch.
“We want to win,” Cox said. “That was one we needed to get and should have gotten. But the fact they didn’t quick, they got down by double digits to a good team. For a team that is young and haven’t had a lot of success, it would be easy to get down.
“But my girls battled back and cut the lead down to 3,” he concluded. “I think that’s something we can build on. They’re learning that winning mentality. Sometimes you have to lose some like that to learn how to win.”

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November 2014
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