Lady Bobcats are runner-up in districts

Friday, February 26, 2016

After a victory over Shiloh Christian on Wednesday, the Berryville Lady Bobcats were focused on improving their seeding for the regional tournament. With eight minutes left in the district championship game on Saturday against Prairie Grove, the Lady Bobcats led by four points. They lost 39-33.

"A few too many turnovers sealed our fate," Lady Bobcats coach Daniel Cornelison said. "We had chances to win that game, just trying to beat Prairie Grove on their home floor is hard to do. Our kids played as hard as they did all year and defensively I thought we did a good job, just thought we missed a couple of breaks."

The Lady Bobcats were down 10-8 at the end of the first quarter and fell behind 19-11 at halftime. Berryville turned things around in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Tigers 16-4 to take a four-point lead into the fourth quarter.

"Jeanessa Smith played her best game of the year," Cornelison said. "She hit three big threes for us and got us back in that game."

Jeanessa Smith finished the game with 11 points while Ally Teague and Baylea Smith each had six.

Despite the loss, Cornelison is pleased with how his team stands heading into the regional tournament.

"We did what we needed to do in the district tournament, trying to get the higher seed," Cornelison said. "I like our club. I like our chances. I like our team."

Berryville 37, Huntsville 30

The Berryville Lady Bobcats lost two close, low-scoring regular-season games to the Huntsville Lady Eagles. It was Berryville who won a low-scoring game against Huntsville when it mattered most, though.

"For a team that beat us twice, it was nice to finally beat them," Berryville coach Daniel Cornelison said. "I thought we guarded them real well, the kids played well defensively and helped us get the win."

The two teams were tied at a field goal apiece at the end of the first quarter, but Berryville's offense got going in the second quarter as the Lady Bobcats took a 14-10 lead into halftime.

"Both teams guard real well," Cornelison said. "We are real physical. Huntsville's real physical. It's been that way every time we have played them. The games just don't lend themselves to scoring too many points."

The Lady Bobcats had a 24-15 lead going into the fourth quarter. Cornelison credits Ally Teague and Baylea Smith for playing a major role in that lead.

"They stepped up big for us," Cornelison said. "We just found a way to score the ball in the basket and they did a tremendous job shooting the ball from the free-throw line."

Baylea Smith finished the game with 15 while Teague had 13 and Hannah Morrell had six.

The Bobcats play Clinton on Thursday in the first round of the regional tournament at Prairie Grove. Cornelison knows what it will take to win the game.

"They are a nice ball club," Cornelison said. "They have, I believe, the best player in their league on their team. She's a No. 2 guard. She can drive it. She can shoot it. She can do a lot of things with the ball in her hands. It's going to be a tough test for us."

The action starts at 7 p.m. in Prairie Grove.

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