(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
BENTON -- The Kelly Lady Hawks basketball team flew by the Chaffee Lady Red Devils Thursday night, coming away with a 60-29 victory.
"Both teams came out and played hard and played well," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter. "The girls came out with great encouragement, enthusiasm, and attitude and really that is what I was looking for.
"It was really a great game for both teams and a good way to start the season on our opening night," McQuerter added.
The Lady Hawks hit the ground running from the opening tip off as Kelly started the first quarter with a 15-0 run with their pressure defense complementing their up-tempo style of play.
Kelly led 26-3 by the end of the first quarter and continued to work the press and transition game in the second quarter as they headed into to the locker rooms up at the half 43-17. This was largely due to the stellar play from junior Debra Hall who had 23 points at the midway juncture and Ruff with her smothering defense, creating immense pressure and numerous turnovers.
"Coach Rod preaches man to man defense and full so that's what we do everyday in practice and we just put what we do into practice into our game," Ruff said.
McQuerter attributed their fast start to the Kelly freshmen boys squad who practiced with the Lady Hawks throughout the week.
"They brought a lot of intensity to our practice," said McQuerter. "I told the girls you got to bring intensity to every play but the most important part is you got to bring a positive attitude. That's what will help make the success happen."
The Lady Hawks continued their style of play throughout the rest of the game as the fourth quarter brought in liberal substitutions and the mercy rule, running the clock down with the final score 60-29.
"As a team we have a long way to go," said McQuerter. "Our goal is improve each and every day and that will start with practice again tomorrow. Hopefully we can get better and continue on with our positive attitude."
Kelly was led by Hall who finished with 28 points, a three and 5-6 shooting from the line.
"We did pretty good for our first game but we do have a lot to work on because our goal is to go to state," Hall said. "We're progressing and picking up everything slowly, but we still have time to get better."
Londyn Backfisch also added 12 points with a perfect 4-4 at the charity strip while Ruff contributing seven points respectively. Chaffee (1-1) was lead by Amber Kirk with eight points.
The Lady Hawks (1-0) will be back in action Monday in the Chaffee Tournament as they play East Prairie Lady Eagles. Tip off will be tossed at 5:30 p.m.