|Carlisle's DeShaye Ricks, left, and Camden Harmony Grove's Sidney Piggot go after a loose ball in the first half. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
QUITMAN — For the first time in nine years, the Carlisle Lady Bison have won a state tournament game.
Carlisle (28-4) pulled away from Camden Harmony Grove for a 57-42 victory in the first round of the Class 2A state tournament Wednesday at the Bulldog Sports Complex. The Lady Bison will play host Quitman on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the quarterfinal round.
Carlisle never trailed in the game but did not have it easy in the second half.
The Lady Bison led 36-26 with 3:57 left in the third quarter. Harmony Grove went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 36-36 with 1:12 left in the third quarter. During that run, Carlisle’s Kylie Warren picked up her second, third and fourth fouls in a span of 1 minute, 9 seconds.
Carlisle reclaimed the lead at 40-36 heading in the fourth quarter. DeShaye Ricks scored all four points.
The Lady Bison scored the first five points of the fourth quarter. Kiara Miller hit a free throw. Blakely Ellis got a layup off a pass by Ricks, who also scored two points in the run.
Harmony Grove scored four in a row to cut Carlisle’s lead to 45-40 with 3:32 left. The Lady Bison put the game away by scoring 12 consecutive points to lead 57-40 with 27.3 seconds left. Harmony Grove scored the game’s final points with 18 seconds left.
“We talked about before the game and at halftime that it’s all about survival,” Carlisle coach Jonathan Buffalo said. “It’s winning and moving on. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Just get the W and move on.”
Buffalo thought his team made enough plays to secure the victory.
“I was proud of them,” he said. “They did a great job. I couldn’t ask for any better effort. There are a few things we could have changed. I told them that 28 wins ties for the second most in school history but we’re going to try to get three more [and win state title].”
Ricks led Carlisle with 12 points. She also had four rebounds. Warren and Miller had 11 points each. Warren had nine rebounds. Kayla Golleher had eight points and nine rebounds. Ellis had seven points. Heather Bowlan had three points. Ashley Harbison had two while Ashby Terry added a free throw.
Sidney Piggot led Harmony Grove with 19 points.
Buffalo said Quitman will present a tough challenge for his squad in the quarterfinals.
“They are an excellent basketball team,” he said. “They are playing in their own gym.
“I told them that if they had won this game tonight that they were making memories that they will never forget.”