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Six games into the season, the Beddingfield High varsity girls basketball team has matched the program’s win output of last season.
Win No. 5 came on the road Friday night against archrival Hunt by a 62-43 count and was predicated on a dominating first half that produced a 34-13 margin.
With a 5-1 record after going 5-18 last season, the Lady Bruins end the pre-holiday segment of their schedule at home next Friday evening against their other archrival, Fike.
“It has been a total team effort,” declared Beddingfield head coach Debra Pegram. “This is a fun group; they are 10 people trying to get it done. The girls we have back have been through some tough times and it’s fun to see them having success. The freshmen have added the spark we needed.”
Makayla Everette, a 6-foot-4 senior, and freshman Danesha Briggs provided the 1-2 punch against the Lady Warriors of the 3-A Big East Conference.
Everette notched a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds, both game highs, for Beddingfield of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference. Briggs knocked down 18 points and handed out seven assists. Senior DiNiyah Sherrod wound up with eight points and nine rebounds.
Hunt was handed its third consecutive loss and dropped to 3-4.
The Lady Warriors started out with pressure defense, forcing a couple turnovers. However, Beddingfield solved the press and Hunt soon became plagued by turnovers, missed shots from close range and constant fouls. Three starters were burdened with three fouls by halftime.
“Once we starting getting down, we sort of gave up,” noted Hunt sophomore guard Madison Mercer. “(Beddingfield) did a really good job of shutting down our top two scorers (seniors Bria Griffith and Imani Sutton).”
Kayla Haley, a 5-10 freshman, paced the Hunt scoring with 10 points. Griffith netted eight and Sutton six.
The Lady Bruins, in the first half, got 11 points from Briggs, 10 from Everette and seven from senior Shamya Best in stretching a 13-6 edge after one quarter to 34-13 at halftime. Best wound up with eight points.
“I wasn’t sure I was going to play basketball this year,” explained the much-improved Best. “But when I decided I would, it was my will to try my hardest. It’s A LOT more fun this year!
Tonight, I believed I could score more points than I did in the last game. I did, and the team really stepped up and won the game.”
But Pegram was braced for a Hunt comeback and credited the Lady Warriors’ effort in the second half.
Hunt drew as close as 36-27 in the third quarter on Mercer’s second 3-pointer.
“I thought we had gained momentum,” Mercer commented, “but they started scoring again and we lost it. It was downhill from there.”
A pair of field goals inside from Haley midway the fourth quarter enabled Hunt to draw as close as 52-43. However, the Lady Bruins responded with the final 10 points as scored by Everette, Briggs and Best.
“We knew (Hunt) was going to give its best in the second half — and it did,” Pegram expressed. “I was a little nervous. Overall, we did really well. The freshmen really stepped up in this (county rivalry) atmosphere.
“I am happy for the girls and I’m really proud of them.”
Hunt’s focus turns to bouncing back and Mercer contends: “We can with an improved attitude and work ethic.”
Anderson 4, Pender, Dove 2, Sherrod 8, Briggs 18, Best 8, Thompson, Everette 21, Shade 1.
Griffith 8, Smith 1, Mercer 6, Haley 10, Tucker 2, Todman, Sauls 4, McNair 2, Mayweathers, Sutton 6, Lucas 4.
Score by quarters:
Beddingfield 13 21 8 20 — 62
Hunt 6 7 18 10 — 43