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Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016

Naylor shooting too much for Lady Bobcats

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Delta senior Macey Parks (left) and junior Machela VanGennip (far right) can hardly watch as the finals seconds tick off their Class 1 sectional loss to Naylor on Tuesday at the Bearcat Event Center in Dexter. David Jenkins, Staff
By Brent Shipman


DEXTER -- For the third straight year Delta saw its season come to a close at the hands of Naylor.

Facing off with the Lady Bobcats in Class 1 Sectionals, the Lady Eagles hit 10 3-pointers on the night as they rolled to a 48-23 win.

"I don't know if they shoot like that all the time, but they really shot the heck out of the ball," Delta head coach Randy White said of Naylor. "They're the best 3-point shooting team we've ran in to all year long.

"We tried to adjust. We went to a matchup, we went to a straight man and we switched to a zone where four people were suppose to be out. We just didn't get out on them in time."

Despite a 12-day layoff, being the only girls team in their district, the Lady Eagles showed no signs of rust in the opening minutes of Tuesday's contest. Kick-started by back-to-back three's from Andrea Sullivan, Naylor hit four three's in the first quarter to go up 13-8 entering the final eight minutes of the half.

While scoring 10 straight points to start the second frame, the Lady Eagles held Delta to only two shots the entire quarter.

After Tori Burton scored in the paint to break a near three-minute Lady Bobcat drought, with 5:11 left in the half, Naylor went on a 7-2 run to head into the locker room up 30-12.

"They were definitely getting irritated with our defense," Sullivan said. "They just kept getting this look on their face where you could tell they weren't getting the shots they were wanting to get."

Making one last push to stay in the game, Machela VanGennip opened the third quarter with a shot from the top of the arc to open up a 6-3 Delta rally that had the Lady Bobcats within 15, at 33-18, with 4:44 left in the frame.

Shortly after Delta's run, however, Sullivan hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 7-0 Lady Eagle run to push ahead by 23 points at 41-18.

The Bobcats got a bucket from Alysha Vessells in the closing minute of the third, but were held to only three points in the final frame to end their season.

"We knew they had 3-point shooters and coach told us to get out on their shooters," Burton said. "But I guess we just failed to do that."

In her last game with Delta, Burton led the Lady Bobcats with 10 points while VanGennip and Macey Parks had four apiece.

For Naylor, Sullivan finished with a game-high 20 points and six three's on the contest. Second on the team was Shayna Tharp with 13 points, all of which were scored in the first half.

"Shayna has come a long way as a freshman," Naylor head coach Gene Deckard said. "She had a big night to win it at Clearwater and Andrea, (a junior), has just been shooting the ball phenomenal all year long.

"With Andrea on one side and Shayna on the other, that's a lot for a zone to cover with Ericka (Engleman) going down the middle and Charity (McCoy) and Darby (Pruett) in there. It's just hard to cover when you shoot the ball like that."

On his team's strong defensive performance, Deckard credits a midseason defensive switch to turning his team's fortunes around.

"About the middle of January we went through a losing streak and were trying to find ourselves," he said. "We went to a 2-2-1 zone and the kids responded winning I think something like eight out of the next 11 since we went to that.

"That really gave us some easy buckets and slows the other team down. I think that's been the key, especially when you go down to half court and keep them spread out."

Now at 13-10, the Lady Eagles will play Eminence (26-1) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff.

As for the Lady Bobcats, they end an injury marred season at 11-13 and having earned their second straight Class 1, District 2 championship.

"We were looking forward to a much better year overall, but injuries have killed us," White said. "I've never had a kid hurt their knee and be out in 30-something years of basketball. I've had kids hurt their knee (in other sports), but never had a kid go out with a knee injury and in one this one year we've had three and all three were starters."


DELTA (23) -- Tori Burton 10, Alysha Vessells 2, Machela VanGennip 4, Macey Parks 4, Chasity Taylor 3. FG 8, FT 5-8, F 10. (3-pointers: Burton 1, VanGennip 1. Fouled out: none.)

NAYLOR (48) Taylor Day 2, Andrea Sullivan 20, Shayna Tharp 13, Ericka Engelman 4, Darby Pruett 5, Charity McCoy 4. FG 19, FT 4-6, F 10. (3-pointers: Sullivan 6, Tharp 3. Fouled out: none.)

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