(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
EAST PRAIRIE -- For the first time in his coaching career with the Lady Eagles, East Prairie head coach Steven Douglas can now say he has beaten the Kelly Lady Hawks.
Going into Monday's contest winless against the Lady Hawks, Douglas and his Lady Eagles notched their first win against Kelly, 50-30. It was also their first win of the season.
"I've been here eight years and I've never beaten Kelly," he said. "There's a few teams I haven't beat and Kelly was one of them. It's a nice win considering our team is young."
The Lady Eagles (1-4) had three players in double figures with Rebekah Douglas leading the way with 14 points. Point guard Caitlyn Harwell added 13 points while Kaitlyn Shands hit three 3-pointers which led to 10 points.
"I told them that if we even out our scoring, we'll beat them," Douglas said. "I also told (Kaitlyn) Shands that if she was to score, we win because she hasn't scored in the last three games.
"It was good distributive scoring."
Kelly, who defeated the Lady Eagles on Saturday to claim the consolation championship at the Lady Devils Invitational tournament in Chaffee, was hounded by interior defense that seemed to effect almost every one of the Lady Hawks' shots.
"I thought our defense was really the key," said Douglas. "We played good defense on their big girls because they do well under the basket. Generally, we did a good job of blocking out, too."
East Prairie's Kailey Turner, who snared 10 rebounds in the contest, sparked the Lady Eagles with six, first quarter points to go along with five, first quarter rebounds. The home team went into the second quarter with a 15-9 advantage, thanks to a long 3-pointer by Douglas at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Eagles built on to that lead with an 11-4 run to start the frame and went into the break with a 31-18 lead.
Behind seven points from Shands, East Prairie outscored the Lady Hawks 13-8 in the third quarter giving them an 18-point lead after three quarters of play.
"We were able to get a win against them Saturday, but I told my girls that East Prairie was going to come out ready to play," Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter said. "(East Prairie) came out and controlled the game. They have a very good point guard (Harwell) who controlled the game and I give them a lot of credit. They got very hot and when that happened, I told my girls that it's okay. You can't control that. They kept playing, which made me proud."
McQuerter said the biggest difference between Monday's loss and Saturday's win was focus.
"They were focused and our girls were not focused," he said. "But, I can guarantee you, my girls will be focused the next time. That's what's called having four freshman in your starting roster. We're young and there's going to be growing pains, but you've got to be patient.
"Every game is an adventure for these girls but they're learning on the fly and they're learning with varsity experience, which is a good thing."
Tessa Johnson and Logan Ivie, who led Kelly (2-2) with 10 rebounds, each scored seven points for the Lady Hawks while Samantha Worth added five.
East Prairie will travel to Hayti on Thursday for their next game while Kelly will take part in the Twin Rivers Classic on Saturday.
The Kelly junior varsity squad defeated East Prairie 29-17.
KELLY (30) -- Samantha Ratledge 1, Tessa Johnson 7, Bridgette Chandler 4, Samantha Worth 5, Logan Ivie 7, Kristi Brucker 2, Katie Koonce 4. FG 11 FT 7-16 F 13 (3-pointers: Johnson 1. Fouled out: none.)
EAST PRAIRIE (50) -- Courtney Carden 5, Rebekah Douglas 14, Caitlyn Harwell 13, Kaitlyn Shands 10, Kailey Turner 8. FG 19 FT 7-14 F 17 (3-pointers: Douglas 1, Harwell 1, Shands 3. Fouled out: Turner.)