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Make it Rush Springs 4, Stephens County 0.
Despite a solid 23-point effort from Ashlee Kelly, the Bray-Doyle Lady Donkeys fell victim to a Rush Springs team who has made a habit out of winning in Stephens County this season, defeating Velma-Alma (twice), Central High, and now Bray-Doyle.
RHS managed to turn around a 27-22 halftime deficit and walk out of Donkey Gymnasium 61-57 winners.
“The key the whole game was not turning the ball over and handling the pressure,” B-D coach Frank Moser said. “I thought at times we did a pretty good job of that. But, in the fourth quarter we physically and mentally wore down. I wasn’t able to sub a whole lot and we made some mental mistakes near the end that were probably due to fatigue.”
With 45 seconds left in regulation, the Lady Redskins held a 58-57 lead, with the Lady Donkeys bringing the ball down with a chance to take the lead.
Unfortunately, the stingy defense from Rush Springs was one step ahead as a turnover was forced and the game was iced at the free throw line courtesy of Jacy Cullers.
It was an anti-climatic end to a game which saw the Lady Donkeys in control throughout most of the contest, and much of the fourth quarter as well.
B-D’s biggest lead of the night was five points, which came at the end of the first (16-11) and second quarters as the Lady Donkeys (3-7) held a 27-22 lead going into halftime.
But, down the stretch the crucial element was free throws.
Rush Springs (8-1) finished the evening 17-of-27 from the line making three of four with less than 30 seconds left in regulation, while B-D was 12-of-20.
“That’s part of the problem with trying to stop Rush Springs, they don’t have a weak player,” Moser said. “You could say number 21 (Jacy Cullers) and 23 (Kaylin Rennaker) are pretty good. When you start paying attention to them, someone else will make you pay.”
Erica Hatfield put in a solid scoring performance with 17 on the night, with Morgan Kovar and Taylor Nichols each scoring eight points on the night.
The Lady Redskins were led by Cullers who scored a team-high 23 points, with Kaylin Rennaker putting in 20 points.
Velma-Alma will provide the first obstacle for the Lady Donkeys in 2013, as the Lady Comets will travel to Donkey Gymnasium on Jan. 4 with tip-off slated for 4:30 p.m.