(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
BENTON -- After swapping leads with visiting Portageville throughout the second half Monday evening, the Kelly Lady Hawks capitalized on several Lady Bulldogs miscues in the closing minutes to pull out a 61-56 win.
"I was very proud of their effort," Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter said. "The girls came out and they battled against a very athletic Portageville team."
Rebounding from a four-point deficit midway through the final frame, the Lady Hawks (8-12) worked their way back within two points before two straight Portageville (6-16) turnovers led to back-to-back baskets from Kristen Powell and Haley Glastetter which gave Kelly a 50-48 lead with 3:05 to play.
Though the Lady Bulldogs were able to draw things out to a 52-52 tie with 2:26 to play, Powell hit her final basket of the night. Shortly after retaking the lead, Powell came up with a turnover on Portageville's next possession that led to a Glastetter bucket, pushing the Kelly lead to four with 1:45 to play.
Following a Darbe Backfisch free throw to push the Lady Hawks lead to five points, Allyson Walls hit a shot from the paint to close the Lady Bulldogs back within three with 38 seconds left.
It was after Portageville missed three straight shots on their next possession, however, that Kelly came away with the ball, allowing Glastetter to connect on four straight free throws in the final 14 seconds to ice the game.
"They had some bigger girls than we did, but we got our shots down when we needed to," Powell said. "(Glastetter) really helped us at the end with her free throws."
Leading Kelly on the night, Powell finished with a game-high 20 points. Fellow seniors Kayla Hicks and Glastetter had 16 and 12 points respectively.
For Portageville, Janika McIntyre contributed a team-high 17 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, while grabbing nine rebounds. Latavia Harris added 14 points, one rebound and two blocks.
"It was a good game for going into districts next week," Lady Bulldogs head coach Barry Branscum said. "Our girls really competed well. I think we just got a little tired maybe in the fourth quarter.
"We had a few turnovers that was a big difference in the game late."
With their regular season over, the Lady Bulldogs will now prepare for for the Class 2, District 1 Tournament starting next Tuesday at Portageville. Seeded second, they will face South Pemiscot in the opening round at 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Hawks will wrap up their final regular season game on Thursday when they take on visiting Oran at 6:30 p.m.
PORTAGEVILLE (56) -- Emily Delisle 4, Allyson Walls 4, Jennifer Ifland 4, Janika McIntyre 17, Latavia Harris 14, Katelyn Jackson 6, Natalie Parrott 5, Brooke Johnson 2. FG 24, FT 8-13, F 20. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Delisle)
KELLY (61) -- Kaitlin Glastetter 3, Haley Glastetter 12, Darbe Backfisch 3, Karlie Ashcraft 7, Kayla Hicks 16, Kristen Powell 20. FG 23, FT 14-16, F 16. (3-pointers: Kaitlin Glastetter 1. Fouled out: Hicks)