By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Evangelical Christian School Lady Eagle standout Emily Lytle did her part to help in the development of the young Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels.
Lytle and her Lady Eagle teammates traveled to the TRA Gymnasium Nov. 23 to take on the Lady Rebels featuring a roster with two eighth graders. One of them, Abby West, drew the assignment of guarding Lytle.
Things went well for a while with TRA staying within striking distance only down 28-22 after three quarters. But the final score read 45-30 on the TRA scoreboard.
“It kind of got a way,” TRA Head Coach Keith Cox said. “You look up and next thing you know. Well, obviously Emily Lytle is pretty good. She’s already signed to play at Little Rock next year. She’s a D-I. I think Abby West did a tremendous job considering she’s an eighth grader that was going up against a Division I player. I though she did a fabulous job.
“As the game went on, she kind of wore down,” he added. “She’s giving up so much size and strength. When I go back and look at it I’m going to say, ‘Oh yeah, she did get some buckets late. One after an other.’”
West, with some help from her teammates neutralized Lytle for the first three quarters. Meanwhile the Lady Rebel offense generated enough points to keep the contest close.
Three-pointers from Brooke Bridges and Megan Sanfratello made the first quarter score 10-6 in favor of the Lady Eagles.
ECS jumped ahead 15-8 in the second quarter when Lady Rebel Ally Naifeh used a post move to spark a 6-0 run.
After a West free throw, Sanfratello hit her second triple of the game to make the score 15-14. The Lady Rebels trailed 19-16 at the break.
The TRA deficit remained narrow when West hit a jumper to make the score 22-18. Lytle created some breathing room for her squad with an assist and layup making the tally 26-18.
Naifeh and her fellow senior Taylor Beasley hit shots toward the end of the period to make the score 28-22.
ECS came out in the fourth quarter with the first five points to build an 11-point advantage. Beasley final ended the TRA drought at the 5:30 mark with a three-pointer to make the score 33-25.
The Lady Eagles closed out the game outscoring TRA 12-5 to earn the victory.
“We just didn’t score,” Cox said. “We went a few possession there when we didn’t get anything. We had a few bad breaks there. Couple of fouls I though could have went the other way didn’t go our way.
“We had a couple of opportunities for steals and the ball just went off our hands,” he concluded. “Some things didn’t go our way.”