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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Lady Bulldogs advance to championship game

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Portageville's Brittney Walker drives past Kelly's Lana Whitworth in the first quarter of Friday night's semifinal game in the Lady Royals Holiday Classic. David Jenkins, Staff
BROSELEY -- Portageville tried to do one of two things in their game against the Kelly Lady Hawks on Friday night: limit Kelly standout Debra Hall or contain everyone around her.

Hall scored 23 of the Lady Hawks 37 points as the latter option proved to be the more effective one in Portageville's 52-37 win over Kelly in their semifinal game at the Lady Royals Holiday Classic Tournament at Twin Rivers High School.

"Debra's a good player," Portageville head coach Eric Ellerbrook said. "Sometimes your good players are going to have most of your points and you have to give it up to them and try to stop the other players.

Portageville's Anna Long tries to dribble around Kelly's Londyn Backfisch in the fourth quarter of Friday night's semifinal game in the Lady Royals Holiday Classic. David Jenkins, Staf
"Good players are going to find a way to score. And Debra did tonight."

Even though Hall scorched the Lady Bulldogs for over half of Kelly's points and 11 rebounds Portageville limited the rest of the Hawks roster to 14 points. Six of those were scored by Londyn Backfisch.

"Portageville came out and played well," Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter said. "They did what they were supposed to do. Their pressure held us a little bit and we didn't adjust well to the pressure. That's what good teams do."

After trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter, Portageville's pressure defense got the better of Kelly's pressure defense. Both teams were set in a full court press for most of the game but the Lady Bulldogs were able to force a few more turnovers and convert on a few more opportunities.

Kelly's Debra Hall drives through the Portageville defense for two of her 23 points Friday night. David Jenkins, Staff
"The big turnaround was that Kelly finally started missing some shots," Ellerbrook said. "We started rebounding the ball a little bit better and playing a little bit better defense."

In the first quarter the Lady Bulldogs found themselves up by five points with just a little over two minutes left. Kelly responded with three unanswered buckets to take a one-point lead at the end of the first.

But, the second quarter belonged to Portageville.

Ronesha Ray and Brittney Walker combined for 11 of the Lady Bulldogs 17 points in the second as steals and turnovers caused by their defense allowed them a chance at a fast break opportunity.

Ray scored all of her six points in the second quarter while Walker scored five.

Portageville held a 28-20 lead at the half.

The Lady Bulldogs continued that trend into the third quarter. They led Kelly by as much as 17 points during that time and went on to outscore them 15-10 to take a 43-30 going into the final quarter.

Kelly did cut their deficit down to only nine points around the six minute mark in the fourth quarter but an 8-1 run to close out the quarter sealed the win for the Lady Bulldogs.

"It's a good rivalry game," said McQuerter. "We love playing them because it gets us ready for districts. That's why we love tournaments like this because the main point is to get ready for districts."

Brittney Walker led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points. She also grabbed seven rebounds and had five steals. Jeleea Drake finished up with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Kelly faced the Naylor Eagles for the third place trophy on Saturday as the Lady Bulldogs took on the Dexter Lady Bearcats for first place as well. Results from these games will be in the Monday edition of the Standard Democrat.