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February 6, 2014

Bulldog girls back on winning track

EMPIRE — Empire girls basketball broke a three-game losing streak with a 45-39 win at Temple Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs (8-8) switched the offensive gameplan up a little bit. They used their speed to get out on the fast break and get easy points in transition. Coach Jason Allensworth credited that and the team’s superior shooting for the win.

Leading scorers seniors Melaina Yearby and Kaelyn Allensworth combined for 31 points. They found a rhythm they didn’t have in the stretch of losses.

“We’ve been off and on, hit and miss,” Allensworth said. “You’re going to need to play great defense and shoot the ball well, especially if you have a perimeter game. It’s a big part of our offense.”

While sophomore McKenna Collins and senior Jessica Carney were disappointed with the win being so close, Carney appreciated getting back on the winning side. The losing streak was the team’s second longest of the season. The Bulldogs had a five-game streak snapped with a 42-38 win against Fox on Jan. 10.

“Losing all those games was disappointing,” Carney said. “Winning (Tuesday) made it better.”

The Empire boys basketball team (3-13) is on a five-game losing-streak after Tuesday’s 68-41 tussle with No. 17 Temple.

The Bulldogs were trailing by just five points headed to the locker room, and coach Stefan Hunt thought they had a chance of pulling the upset. However, in the second half Temple showed its strength beating the Bulldogs on the fast break.

“It was layup after layup after layup,” Hunt said. “With four of them gone (from practice) Wednesday with the flu, I don’t know if it was laziness or we just didn’t have any energy last night.”

There were a couple of standouts after the game got into blowout territory. Hunt thought a couple of players played well off the bench, particularly senior Matthew Patrick.

“He always gives great effort when he’s on the floor,” Hunt said. “I talk all the time about needing to take charges, putting yourself out there and he’s one of the only ones who has taken multiple charges when he has gotten on the floor.”

Up next for the Bulldogs will be a home game against No. 10 Big Pasture on Friday.

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