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Lady Pioneers keep winning, but battles ahead

By TREY WILLIAMS H&T Correspondent

After ending a 32-game losing streak to Science Hill and outlasting West Ridge in triple overtime, the David Crockett girls basketball team might be tempted to exhale.

But Week Two of the Big Five Conference schedule should be just as challenging.

The Pioneers (2-0, 15-2) will host Dobyns-Bennett (2-0, 12-8) in a battle for first place on Wednesday and goes to rival Daniel Boone on Friday. The Dobyns-Bennett game was pushed back 24 hours due to weather.

“Dobyns-Bennett runs pretty much a four- and five-guard system,” Crockett coach Thomas Gouge said. “They get up and down the floor and they’re all good basketball players. They can all shoot it and they can all attack and handle it.

“So it’s gonna be a clash of styles. We’ve got the two bigs (Kadence Fannon, Nora Walters). We like to pound it inside and they like to get it and go and spread you out and shoot the three.”

Crockett defeated Science Hill, 48-44, at Crockett on Jan. 11. It was the Pioneers’ first win in the series since Lauren Murr (Chandley) scored 24 points, including five in the final 7.2 seconds, to lift Jamey Anderson’s squad to a 59-56 victory at Science Hill on Jan. 6, 2009.

Fannon, a 6-foot senior, had 16 points and seven rebounds and 5-foot-4 fresh- man point guard Bella Ferguson stuffed the stat sheet (nine points, eight assists, five rebounds, four steals) as the Pioneers (15-2) opened their Big Five Conference schedule with a win against the preseason favorite.

“Since I got this job we wanted to change the culture,” a drenched Gouge said shortly after having been doused by his players while entering the locker room. “We wanted to be the best program in the area. Beating Science Hill is a good step forward to that.”

Science Hill led 35-27 late in the third quarter. But Fannon cut it to five with a 3-pointer. Fannon had scored nine of Crockett’s
11 points in the first quarter and assisted the other basket by Walters.

“Kadence has been un- believable,” Gouge said. “She can score it. She can rebound it.”

The Pioneers outscored the Hilltoppers 17-6 in the fourth quarter. Ferguson got Kadence Fannon goes for the ball in the triple-overtime triumph against West Ridge on Friday. Crockett girls will host Dobyns-Bennett in a battle for first place tonight. (Wednesday) on Jan. 11 and lost 85-47 at Dobyns-Bennett on Friday.

The ‘Blazers led the Wolves 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Sophomore guard Brayden Blankenship scored a game-high 19 points, including 3-for-3 shooting from 3-point range. He also grabbed four steals.

Luke Jenkins tallied 11 points and six assists. Creed Musick, Boone’s leading scorer, had seven points and five assists.

“Creed’s good,” Connell said. “He can score from anywhere. He can get to the rim. He can jump really good, very explosive. He’s got a great shot. He can handle the ball.

“They’ve got a lot of good guards. You’ve got Blankenship. You’ve got Luke Jenkins. They’ve got Luke Scott down low. It’s a big conference game. We’re all fighting for those top three spots.”

The Daniel Boone girls team defeated West Ridge (53-50) and lost to Dobyns-Bennett (55-31) last week. The Trailblazers (2-1, 8-10).

Sophomore guard Kyleigh Bacon hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 5.5 seconds left against West Ridge after a kick-out from Maci Masters.

Another sophomore, Josie Jenkins, led Boone with 13 points. She’d beaten Science Hill with a game-winning 3-pointer in the previous game. a late steal and dribbled out the clock.

“It was amazing,” Ferguson said. “Once I got that steal and saw the clock was like three seconds left – there were so many emotions. I was just so excited. For a team like us to do something like that and beat them is amazing.”

Ferguson and Emily Trivette scored 24 and 17 points, respectively in the triple-overtime triumph at West Ridge on Friday.

“Bella hit some big- time shots late and ET hit a couple of threes and had one nice Eurostep drive that she finished at the basket with the left hand,” Gouge said. “And Kadence had 18 rebounds and Nora had 11. It was an all-around team effort.”

Gouge said he thought the Pioneers came out flat after the win against Science Hill.

“Shots weren’t falling and we were turning the ball over,” he said. “But credit the girls – they kept fighting, never backed down and got it done in the third overtime. I actually thought it was four overtimes. I’ve never been so tired after a game.”

The David Crockett boys bounced back from a 68-41 loss to Science Hill to defeat West Ridge, 80-58, on Friday.

Senior point guard Dawson Wagner scored 22 points and freshman point guard Jacob Arnold scored 20 and made three 3-pointers in the second half for the Pioneers (1-1, 12-7).

Crockett coach Cody Connell was especially pleased to see the tandem shine. Wagner and Arnold frequently train and work out together.

“Arnold plays great defense, he’s so active and he handles the pressure offensively,” Connell said. “He doesn’t get scared of the moment. He’s a great shooter. … He played a heck of a ballgame.

“And it was good to see everybody excited. We’ve got eight seniors and it wasn’t like we’ve got a lot of guys pouting because a freshman was playing over ‘em.”

The Pioneers also got 11 points from Ethan Barnett and 10 from Gage Peterson.

“I thought our guys really played together,” Connell said. “We had four guys in double digits. Gage Peterson had a double-double with 10 points and maybe 12 rebounds. Ethan Barnett had 11 points. Dawson Wagner had 22 points, seven re- bounds, six assists and five steals. And Jacob Arnold hit three massive threes and went 11-for-12 from the free throw line.”

Crockett has the unenviable task of taking on league-leading Dobyns-Bennett on Wednesday and must travel to rival Daniel Boone on Friday.

“Dobyns-Bennett is tough,” Connell said. “Boone is one of those teams – when they’ve got momentum, they’re gonna be tough to beat. We’ve gotta limit those runs. I’m excited about it. It’s a good rivalry.”

Boone (1-2, 7-12) defeated West Ridge 55-52