The Duncan Banner
Putting aside a disappointing 12-point loss to Ninnekah, Empire girls fought to claim the consolation title in the Alex tournament Saturday with a 54-35 win versus Paoli.
Behind most of the second-round game against Fox Friday, it didn’t look like the Bulldogs were going to be a fifth-place finisher. Coach Jason Allensworth made an adjustment on how the team played Fox’s main scorer. He told his daughter, sophomore Kaelyn Allensworth to just go after the post player and deny her the ball. The Bulldogs outscored the Foxes 10-5 in the final quarter and it led to a 43-38 victory.
It was a total team effort on offense on Friday. Sophomore Sherre Dewey led the team with 11 points, but four players scored eight or more points, including Allensworth, freshman Kamryn Brown and senior Melaina Yearby.
The last of those three broke out in the win against Paoli. She scored 24 points to lead the team.
“That was her comeback, and she really played well,” Jason said. “We played a lot better at the end of the tournament than the beginning of the tournament.”
The coach added that it’s always better to end a tournament better than the way you started. He was happy the team could come away with the consolation championship, and that Yearby was named to the all-tournament team.
“It’s thinks like that that push the girls confidence,” Jason said. “That helps us get ready for the Stephens County tournament that is coming up.”
For the boys basketball team, the wait is over. The Bulldogs got their first win against Ninnekah on Friday. The final score was 49-38 and sophomore Evan Whitt finished with a double-double — 19 points and 16 rebounds. The exhilaration was short lived, though, as the Bulldogs lost 82-38 to Fox on Saturday. Both teams will have a short break before they host Ryan this Friday.