Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

January 6, 2013

Keys girls sink Pirates

Hewitt scores 21 points as Keys holds off Locust Grove.

PARK HILL — Sydni Rainbolt plowed over Locust Grove’s Sydnie Pierce and picked up her fifth foul. For good measure, Rainbolt slapped the hardwood, resulting in a technical foul to add insult to injury.

So, not only was Rainbolt no longer a threat to the Lady Pirates, but Locust Grove also picked up two foul shots in the process.

However, Sydnie Pierce stepped to the charity stripe and clanged two free throws off the rim.

From there, it was all down hill for Locust Grove.

Advantage, Keys.

The Lady Cougars made due without Rainbolt — thanks to Mylee Hewitt’s presence — and picked up a 57-50 victory at Cougar Fieldhouse.

“I knew that we had to come out as a team and play as hard as we could,” Hewitt said. “We have grown so much within the past month, and we’re a young team. But we came together and pulled it off.”

Despite going 5 of 16 from the floor, Hewitt led all scorers with 21 points. None were bigger than three points on a trey to start the fourth quarter, which led to a 10-point period.

“I knew that we needed that shot,” Hewitt said. “It was very important.”

Hewitt’s sidekick in the backcourt, Ali Nolan, followed Hewitt’s lead and helped ice the lead late, draining 5 of 6 foul shots.

“We knew that when she got to the free-throw line there, it was money in the bank,” Keys coach Mickey Duncan said of Nolan, who finished with nine points.

“She spends so much time there on the free-throw line, and those are the two (Nolan and Hewitt) that we want handling the basketball at the end of the ball game.”

The two clubs traded leads seven times in the game while also being tied three times. But it was Keys who controlled the final quarter, by burying 12 of 14 foul shots.

Another plus for the Lady Cougars (6-5, 3-3 Verdigris Valley Conference) was holding Locust Grove’s Madison Davis to six points on 1 of 13 shooting.

“It was very important,” Hewitt said of limiting Davis’ production. “She can drive, she can shoot the 3, she can make free throws. She can do everything.”

Davis’ total was based mainly on her 4-for-4 effort at the free-throw line. With no production from her, Locust Grove (4-3, 3-3) struggled.

“(Davis) struggled a little bit, and they did a good job on her,” said Locust Grove coach Justin Brown, whose team finished 18 of 44 from the field. “She got a little frustrated, and she let it get to her. She’ll get better. She’ll learn from it.”

Bailey Holman led Locust Grove with 16 points off the bench.

Now, Keys and Locust Grove will prepare to square off again Tuesday. The two clubs will meet in the first round of the Locust Grove Invitational.

“They beat us, so now we’re ready to go play [again],” Brown said. “We’re going to try and get one back, and hopefully we’ll come out better next time.”

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