|Carlisle's Kayla Golleher splits two England defenders on her way to the basket. Golleher had 12 points in the Lady Bison's win over the Lady Lions. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
CARLISLE — The Carlisle Lady Bison completed the season sweep of England by beating the Lady Lions 56-40 on Tuesday at Bison Arena.
With the win, Carlisle, ranked third in Class 2A by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, improves to 21-3 on the season, their most victories during Jonathan Buffalo’s six years as coach.
“Any win is a good win,” Buffalo said. “I thought we played really well in the first half. To get to 21 wins is huge for our program. It’s the most wins we’ve had in my six years as coach. It’s a reflection of how hard these girls are working on a daily basis.”
Early on, it looked like it might be a slugfest between the two Lonoke County Schools.
England led 3-0 on a three-pointer by Tatayana Penister. Carlisle tied it on a three-point play by Heather Bowlan.
England reclaimed the lead at 5-3 on a basket by Penister. Carlisle tied it at 5-5 on a drive to the basket by Kayla Golleher.
Penister then hit her second three-pointer to give the Lady Lions an 8-5 lead with 5:44 left in the first quarter.
From there, Carlisle scored 19 consecutive points to lead 24-8 with 5:46 left in the first half. Carlisle’s Kylie Warren scored 11 of the 19 points during the run, which ended when Shavnta Blanks scored on a short jumper with 5:25 left in the first half.
The Lady Bison led 33-14 at halftime.
“We did what we were supposed to do on defense,” Buffalo said. “It was a battle under the boards, and I thought my kids rose to the occasion and they did a great job of matching the intensity that England brought. England is a physically and mentally-tough basketball team. We had to match their intensity and I thought we did that.”
Carlisle scored the first five points of the second half to lead 38-14. Golleher hit a three-pointer and DeShaye Ricks hit a short jumper. England scored seven in a row to pull to within 17 at 38-31 but Carlisle stemmed the tied and led 46-27 after three quarters.
Carlisle’s lead ballooned to 56-31 following a basket by Bowlan with 2:02 left. England scored the game’s final nine points to account for the final score.
Warren led Carlisle with 18 points. Golleher had 12. Bowlan finished with eight. Ricks scored seven. Ashby Terry had six. Blakely Ellis had five.
Penister led England with 12.
The Lady Bison will host Hazen on Thursday. They have already clinched the top seed in the 2A-3 district tournament, which starts in two weeks at McCrory. The Lady Bison will also be in postseason play as they have qualified for the Class 2A Region 3 tournament, which will be held at Bison Arena.