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Lady Bobcats down Lady Bears in rough one

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent

ORANGEFIELD — When facing a formidable opponent the last thing you need is physical play that almost gets out of hand. Unfortunately, that was the case Tuesday night as the Orangefield Lady Bobcats hosted the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears.

Despite the overwhelming amount of physical and rough-and-tumble plays, the Lady Cats’ were able to rally to a 37-33 win in overtime.

The two squads opened the first quarter of play with sub-par shooting while trying to force shots that were not there. LC-M (1-1) led early, 5-0, but all shots came on free-throws as Orangefield got into foul trouble early and often. The Lady Cats’ finally caught a break with freshman stand-out Emmi Lummus swiping the ball from Katelyn McCallon and finding Hanna Lowe for a fast-break layup to end the shooting the slump. The Lady Bobcats ended the first quarter on a 10-4 run to take a one point lead, 10-9.

Lowe helped extend the Orangefield surge into the second quarter. She split two defenders in route to the hoop for an easy two point lay in. It was more foul trouble though that helped the Lady Bears keep the game close. Trailing by one point, Mattie Frey, hit a big time jump shot to give LC-M their first lead since the three minute mark in the first quarter. The streaky Lady Cats’ battled right back with a 5-0 run capped by a Lowe three-point shot from the top of the arc for a 19-15 lead at half-time.

The Lady Bears opened the second quarter aggressive and pushed the Lady Bobcats into early foul trouble once again. The Orangefield crowd got a scare when Sheriden Rodgers was banging the boards, but also banged Lummus to the floor. Lummus left momentarily, but returned after being cleared by the trainer. Both teams kept the game close and the LC-M side of the gym was getting increasingly loud with every Orangefield foul called, but Bethany Green would silence the rowdy fans when she hit a three-point shot to extent the Lady Cat lead to 27-21. Grace Chen answered right back with a three of her own to pull the Lady Bears right back into contention. Chen led all Lady Bears on the night with 8 points.

The fourth quarter brought more fireworks with the Orangefield lead slipping away and no foul calls going their way.

The Lady Cats’ would catch a break as the Lady Bears were unable to convert from the free-throw line making just 35 percent of their shots from the line. Chen tied the game at 31 when she drove the lane and hit a shot while falling to the floor. Lummus, however, took over for the Lady Bobcats. She would grab her fourth steal of the night and outrun the defenders for a fast-break layup.

The next Lady Bears possession Lummus again would grab the ball and run the floor for a quick jump shot to put Orangefield back up by three points. Senior, Frey, help the Lady Bears recapture the lead by one point, but a Lummus free throw would give the Lady Cats’ the lead again just moments later.

The controversial calls finally came to a head with 3 seconds left in regulation with the Lady Cats leading 32-31, but a foul called on Lummus who made a clean steal on the ball and was still called for a foul from the referee on the opposite end of the floor. The foul allowed Brown to shoot two shots and she’d make just one to send it to overtime. Lummus finished with 9 points on the night.

The two teams entered overtime tied at 32, but it was Orangefield that was able to put points on the board and control the final four minutes of play. Lowe was able to find her way to the basket twice in the extra period of play to help the seal the victory for the Lady Bobcats. Lowe had another double digit scoring night as she dropped 13 points. Green had eight rebounds and six points in her first game back since a shoulder injury during tournament play kept her sidelined for several games.

Orangefield (14-5,2-0) will take the momentum on the road to face a red-hot Silsbee Lady Tigers team. Little Cypress-Mauriceville will regroup for a home game against Hamshire-Fannett on Friday.