Lady Bulldogs overcome obstacles to beat Jackson Heights
by Dennis Sharkey
The McLouth Lady Bulldogs outlasted Jackson Heights Friday night at home 63-56 despite having their best post player on the bench.
The Lady Bulldogs played most of the second and third quarters without sophomore Kaitlyn Hullinger because of foul trouble.
Hullinger picked up three fouls in the first quarter and had a seat on the bench at the 5:56 mark of the second quarter after picking up her fourth foul and the team clinging to a 17-15 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs had several chances to build a lead especially at the end of the first quarter when they turned the ball over on four of the five last possessions. However, the Lady Cobras had their own problems scoring and trailed 13-10 after one period.
The Lady Bulldogs also had problems breaking away from Jackson Heights in the second quarter as well.
The Lady Cobras pulled to within a point after Hullinger sat down. Up by three points junior Kami Wisdom stole the ball and went coast to coast to extend the lead back to two possessions.
Jackson Heights would not go away and pulled back to within a point at 22-21 with 1:45 left in the half. But the Lady Bulldogs ended the quarter on a 7-2 run and led by six points at the half.
Hullinger started the third quarter and it was evident she was playing with four fouls because the Lady Cobras were able to get points in the paint and she ended up sitting most of the third period.
A couple of times the Lady Bulldogs were able to get the lead to 10 points but the Lady Cobras would reel them back in and get within two possessions.
The Lady Bulldogs suffered another blow when Wisdom came out of the game with an ankle injury with 2:53 left in the third period.
However, the Lady Bulldogs kept playing defense and extended the lead back to 10 points before Jackson Heights sophomore Blake Fund hit a three-point basket with 15 seconds left to trim the lead to 43-39 heading to the fourth quarter.
“We recovered and we played without (Hullinger) and I was really proud of my team for that,” Head Coach Gina Durkes said.
Durkes said with Hullinger out of the game, the focus turned to guard play and finding good outside shots. The Lady Bulldogs got enough defense to keep them in the game.
“We had times where our defense looked really good and other time where it looked bad,” Durkes said. “The wind must have been going good for us.”
Hullinger entered back into the game to start the fourth quarter and instantly made her presence felt.
After a quick bucket by the Lady Cobras cut the lead to four points, Hullinger turned the offense on and scored nine of her 15 points in the final period before fouling out at 2:35 with her team up by 12 points.
Jackson Heights put on a full-court press and a strategy of fouling at the end of the game to pull the final score back to single digits.
Junior guard Terri Stewart led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points and Logan Terry also had 10 points. Jackson Heights junior Morgan Thomas led all scorers with 22 points.
Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=5415