Lady Bobcats gain momentum

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Berryville coach Daniel Cornelison says the Lady Bobcats are “playing a lot better basketball, for sure,” after winning on the road at Huntsville last Tuesday and going toe-to-toe with Harrison before losing by eight points last Friday at Bobcat Arena.

Now is the right time for a team to start peaking, with just two regular-season games left on the schedule before next week’s 4A-1 district tournament.

“Our chemistry is a lot better than it was early on,” Cornelison said Monday. “And we finally figured out kind of who we are and what each other can do and start to trust one another. It’s a good time for that to start happening.”

In the 47-32 win at Huntsville, Berryville jumped ahead early, outscoring the Lady Eagles 16-4 in the first quarter. The Lady Bobcats made four three-pointers in the first quarter — two by Anni Armer and one each by Lilli Compton and Faith Kelley.

“We started the game real solid and just kind of took it at ’em a little bit,” Cornelison said. “We maintained the lead throughout the entire game. The girls played with a lot of effort and a lot of energy. I was proud of that. That’s a tough place to play.”

Armer finished with a team-high 18 points, including 13 in the first half. Senior Lauren Compton added 10 points and Kelley scored nine for Berryville.

Friday’s game against Harrison marked Senior Night for the Lady Bobcats and started with a special moment as senior Abby Thurman made a layup on Berryville’s first possession of the game. It was Thurman’s only appearance in a game this season after she separately tore ligaments in each knee — exactly one year apart — during her sophomore and junior seasons. Thurman was able to return to play volleyball last fall but another knee injury essentially ended her athletic career.

Cornelison singled out Thurman’s basket on Friday night.

“It was a special moment on Senior Night,” he said.

Harrison led 16-8 at the end of the first quarter and 25-20 at halftime but Berryville stayed relatively close as Armer made four three-pointers and scored a team-high 16 points. Kelley had a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter and added 10 points for the Lady Bobcats (9-9).

The Lady Bobcats were scheduled to host Huntsville in a makeup game Monday night, then close out the regular season Friday night with a game at Gentry.

“It’s never easy in this conference,” Cornelison said. “You can play really good basketball and get beat on any given night in this conference. We’ll just try to do the best we can. We’ll step on the floor and see what happens.”

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