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Sports

January 7, 2014

Empire drops both against Wilson

EMPIRE — Empire girls basketball was one Melaina Yearby jumper away from victory against Walters.

The shot didn’t fall, and the Bulldogs weren’t able to complete the comeback losing 33-32.

The loss was the team’s second in a row after coming back from Christmas break, with the first coming to Wilson at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City.

The Bulldogs were trailing at the end of the first quarter 15-5, and Coach Sean Hushbeck said the loss on the NBA floor played into that slow start.

“It was kind of lingering on their minds,” Hushbeck said. “We’ve been kind of in a slump, and we’re trying to figure a way out of it. I think this was a good push in that direction as the game went on.”

Empire outscored Walters in the other three quarters, including a 9-4 advantage in the fourth. Kaelyn Allensworth was a big reason for that comeback scoring 15 points. Yearby added 10.

“We’re getting there slowly, but still offensively, we have to find that next level,” Hushbeck said.

In the boys game, Empire took a step back. The Bulldogs, who are still searching for their first win, didn’t play with the same intensity on defense that it has been.

Walters shot 9-15 from beyond the arc and had 17 offensive rebounds to solidify the 85-49 scoreline.

Coach Stefan Hunt is still pleased with the work ethic of his players, but hopes to see more improvement on the court.

“For the first time we got out hustled and out worked,” Hunt said. “The boys were disappointed in themselves after the game. We came together as a group and said we weren’t going to let it happen again.”

Hunt said he was surprised at how well Walters shot the ball from outside. He changed up the defense quite a few times, but no matter what, the home team always found an open look. That made it a lot easier to score.

“When you’re out there on an island by yourself, those shots tend to go in a lot easier than they would, if you got someone with a hand up running at you,” Hunt said.

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