Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lady Bison win conference title; Bison rally to beat McCrory

Carlisle's Arius McClain is fouled by McCrory's Caroline Lane during the first half of the Lady Bison's 17th-conference win Friday night at Bison Arena. (Photos by Mark Buffalo)

By Mark Buffalo
Staff Writer

Lady Bison clinch second seed
CARLISLE — For the fourth consecutive season, the Carlisle Lady Bison are conference champions.
Carlisle routed McCrory 66-52 to finish 2A-6 play at 17-1, tied with Clarendon for the top spot in the conference standings Friday night at Bison Arena. Carlisle will be the second seed in the district tournament while Clarendon will be the top seed. 
Carlisle will play in the semifinals of the district tournament Friday at Palestine-Wheatley at 7 p.m. The championship game is Saturday at 5 p.m.
Carlisle coach Jonathan Buffalo is proud of what his team has accomplished so far this season. 
"That is four years in a row winning at least a share of the conference championship," Buffalo said. "That is quite an accomplishment. My one senior [Peyton Hitchings] has been on three in a row. 
"But we talked about this in the locker room after the game. Our bigger goals are still with us. We still want to win the district tournament and we still want to go to the state tournament.You set yourself up by doing well in the district tournament. It will be tough but hopefully, we're up for the challenge."
By getting the second seed, the Bison are already qualified for the Class 2A East Region Tournament, which starts Feb. 24 at Hazen. 
In the win over McCrory, the game wasn't as close as the final score indicates. Carlisle led 32-12 after one quarter and 54-22 at halftime. It was agreed upon by both coaches to run the clock the entire second half.
Kylie Warren led Carlisle with 21 points. Arius McClain had 12. Scoring nine ear were NicQuira Burnett and Elex McClain. Blakely Ellis and Taylor Cullun had four points each. Nikita Harper had three. Scoring two each was Kayla Golleher. Heather Bowlan and Hitchings had one point each.
Caroline Lane, the great niece of Carlisle mayor Ray Glover, led the Lady Jaguars with 22 points. 

Bison coach Jayson Lowery talks to his team during a timeout Friday night against McCrory.

Bison rally for sixth on-court win
The Carlisle Bison, which had to forfeit four wins because an ineligible player during the first semester, won their second game of the second semester by rallying to beat McCrory 66-60 on senior night.
McCrory led 31-25 at halftime and 41-40 entering the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars went on a 13-4 run to lead 54-44 midway through the final eight minutes.
However, the Bison then turned it on by outscoring the Jaguars 22-6 the remainder of the game.
Play got rough at times and technical fouls were called on both teams. McCrory coach Jeremiah Quattlebaum was hit with one while Carlisle senior Brynden Weems was hit with one of his own late in the closing seconds.
With the win, Carlisle was able to secure the seventh seed in the 2A-6 district tournament, which is being held this week at Palestine-Wheatley. 
Carlisle finished conference play at 3-15, having received a forfeit win from Marvell, which used an ineligible player. The Bison also beat Hazen at Hazen's new arena a few weeks ago.
In the win over McCrory, Garnell Harris finished with 26 points. He was 14 for 16 from the free throw line, including 9 of 10 in the fourth quarter.
Weems had 19 points. JaMarious Harper and Ty Golleher had six points each. Scoring three each were Zach Caviness, Gray Amanden and JeSean Harper. 
"For three quarters we had an all out war," Carlisle coach Jayson Lowery said, who called a timeout when McCrory went up 10. 
"Statistics told if they scored again the chances of us pulling out a win were in single digits," he said. "Jonathan Buffalo [assistant coach] and I talked away from the bench. I had one idea but was risky. It would require using one of my freshman that had just moved up and had only one official practice with our senior high."
That player is JeSean Harper.
"My main scorers had been doing their job all game but had to be tired," Lowery said. "I had saved all my timeouts for the fourth quarter on purpose. My scorers would have to tough it out without real breaks, my two best defenders would have to play lights out and the freshman would add to the speed of the game. So we took the gamble."
From there, the Bison rallied to get the win.
"During timeouts, my senior, who had his senior year ended by injury — Dominic Castleberry — pumped up his team and was practically a third coach. His hunger for the game was inspiriting the others. In those four magical minutes, we outscored McCrory by 16 points."
The Bison will play Palestine-Wheatley on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play KIPP-Delta and Marvell on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. The winner of the game will play in the semifinals Friday at 8:30 p.m. against second-seed Clarendon. If the Bison get to that game, they will play in the regional tournament at Hazen.
The boys' finals are Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

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