Mistakes cost Lady Rebels

Published 12:01am Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NATCHEZ — Quite simply, it was a game Adams County Christian School should have won.

That was Lady Rebels head coach Melanie Hall’s assessment after her team allowed Brookhaven Academy to come from behind and win 41-37 in both teams’ first district game of the season Tuesday night.

Numerous turnovers, missed layups and free throws cost the Lady Rebels (8-13, 0-1) dearly, but ACCS was still able to maintain its lead for three quarters. The mistakes finally caught up with ACCS in the fourth, however, as the Lady Rebels coughed up the lead and were unable to score in the final two minutes of regulation.

“We made a lot of mistakes,” Hall said. “It wasn’t just at the end, it was the whole ball game. I’m not taking anything away from Brookhaven Academy, because they fought hard and fought back, but we beat ourselves tonight.”

The Lady Rebels were 10-for-22 from the foul line, and Hall said those numbers show that the game shouldn’t have even been close.

“I’ve always said, if you can make free throws, if you can make layups — and I repeat the ‘make’ word — and play defense, you’ll compete every night,” Hall said. “If you cannot make the layups, and cannot make free throws, you’re not going to win. It’s that simple.”

ACCS had a slim 26-23 lead entering into the fourth quarter, but Brookhaven Academy’s Mary Claire White quickly cut it to one on a couple of free throws with 7:35 left. A three-pointer by Tory Laird at the 6:56 mark made it a four-point game again, but Brookhaven responded with a trey of its own by Marlee Watts with 5:50 left to play.

A field goal by Nikki Worthey with 5:18 to go made it 31-28 ACCS, but White again cut the lead to one on a bucket with 5:06 left to play. ACCS extended its lead 35-30 on a two-pointer by Skylar Adams and two free throws by Kylie Powell.

Brookhaven Academy finally tied the game up when Lindsey Winborne hit a field goal with 3:08 left and Madison Warren sank a three-pointer at the 2:42 mark. Two more free throws by Powell put ACCS back out in front 37-35, but that would end up being the last time the Lady Rebels scored.

A pair of field goals by Hilary Wilson and Warren finally got the Lady Cougars out in front 39-37 with 56 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, ACCS guard Tory Laird turned the ball over on an errant pass that went out of bounds. Warren was fouled with 25 seconds left but missed the one-and-one, giving ACCS one more chance to at least tie it up.

But the Lady Rebels turned the ball over again on an inbounds pass, and Warren was fouled with six second left. She sank both of her free throws, ending any chance of an ACCS win.

“I think we were getting frustrated, and a lot of us were getting tired, and once you get frustrated, you’re beaten,” Laird said of her team’s fourth-quarter letdown. “We just got beat.”

ACCS led 22-17 at intermission.

Adams led ACCS with 14 points, and Worthey and Laird both added seven points. Powell finished with six points.

Worthy, Laird and Rachel House all had seven rebounds. Worthy also tallied two blocks.

Brookhaven Academy 67, ACCS boys 44

All four of ACCS’s scorers tallied double digits, but it wasn’t enough as ACCS lost its opening district game Tuesday.

Trey Fleming led the Rebels with 13 points, and Brandon Walker finished 11 points. Ryan Strong and Chris Guedon both had 10 points.

The Cougars led 35-21 at the half. Gage Posey led in scoring with 18 points for Brookhaven, and Matthew Evans and Peyton Hood both tallied 12 points.

ACCS (7-13, 0-1) will host Trinity Episcopal Day School Friday.