By BEN JOHNSON
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.
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.”
Keys (girls) 57, Locust Grove 50
LG 12 13 12 13 — 50
Keys 17 7 14 19 — 57
Locust Grove (4-3): Bailey Holman 16, Pierce 8, Davis 6, Sokolski 6, Cooper 6, Harry 4, Hendrickson 2, Conner 2.
Keys (6-5): Mylee Hewitt 21, Sydni Rainbolt 10, Ali Nolan 9, Kandace Haulmark 8, Young 5, Drywater 2, Willis 2.
Locust Grove 46, Keys (boys) 42
In game that neither team seem determined to win, Locust Grove made the fewest amount of mistakes down the stretch to steal a 46-42 victory away from Class 3A No. 9 Keys.
The Cougars (7-4) had a prime opportunity to take the lead with 31 seconds left, but a mental mistake hampered Keys.
After Trevor Eubanks buried a 3-pointer to cut Locust Grove’s lead to 42-41 with 31 seconds left, the Cougars called timeout. Out of the huddle, Locust Grove failed to get the ball inbounds and wound up turning the ball over on a five-second call.
All Keys had to do was inbound the ball and set up a potential do-or-die final possession. Unfortunately, not all of Keys’ players were on the same page.
The Pirates (5-2) stole the inbounds pass and promptly called a timeout. As both teams headed toward their benches, several Keys players were upset with Cody Cole.
Keys coach Duane Jones, though, would neither confirm or deny whose fault it was on the inbounds pass that resulted in a turnover.
“It was just one of my guys who lined up wrong,” Jones said. “Trevor (Eubanks) just threw a bad pass. That was a bad possession for us.
“It was probably my fault. It was a big part of the game, and I should have called timeout.”
David Stone, who scored a game-high 20 points, followed Keys’ turnovers with two free throws on the other end. Then, after the Cougars’ Chase Girdner made one of two free throws, Locust Grove’s Reed Bryant put the game out of reach with two free throws with 12 seconds left.
The Pirates went 20 of 29 at the foul line in the game.
Trevor Eubanks was Keys’ only scorer in double figures with 16 points. The senior guard was 5 of 19 from the floor and only 2 of 9 from the field in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars will now play Grove in the first round of the Locust Grove Invitational on Tuesday. Locust Grove will begin tournament action by playing Salina in the first round on Monday.
Locust Grove 46, Keys (boys) 42
LG 13 10 11 12 — 46
Keys 15 11 8 8 — 42
Locust Grove (5-2): David Stone 20, Mason Fine 10, Pike 7, Rowland 3, Halpain 3, Bryant 3.
Keys (7-4): Trevor Eubanks 16, Ragsdale 7, Turman 5, Stayathome 5, Girdner 5, Cole 4.