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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Freshman leads Lady T-Birds past West Side

  • Guy-Perkins freshman forward Alli Brown dropped a game-high 30 points on Tuesday, leading the Lady Thunderbirds past West Side 71-59 in Greers Ferry.
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  • Guy-Perkins freshman forward Alli Brown dropped a game-high 30 points on Tuesday, leading the Lady Thunderbirds past West Side 71-59 in Greers Ferry. Turnovers and free throws haunted West Side against Guy-Perkins' aggressive 1-2-1-1 full-court pressure, which they applied relentlessly all game. The Lady Eagles finished 20-of-43 from the charity stripe, failing to take advantage of a plethora of fouls. “There were too many turnovers and missed free throws for us,” said West Side Coach Shane Davis. “I don't know how many turnovers it was but it was a bunch. We scored enough to win we just turned it over too many times. Of course, with this being basically our first game of the year and being young with six sophomores and one starter out, it's tough. But, our guards have got to make better decisions.” Brown gave the Lady Eagles trouble with her ability to drive into the lane, while also showing her long-range ability by sinking four three-pointers. “She is a good freshman,” said Davis. “We did not do a good job of stopping her dribble penetration. We let her get too deep so we've got to do a better job of stopping the ball.” West Side took an early 8-7 lead on a layup from post player Taylor Clark off an assist from guard Whitney England but Guy guard Ashley Hicks answered with a 19-foot jumper from right wing. West Side (0-1) jumped back on top when point guard Abby Turney hit a leaner in transition but the Lady Thunderbirds closed the first quarter with a 9-2 run, which included a three-pointer from left wing by Brown. West Side post player Melissa Hendrickson, who grabbed 10 rebounds, recorded a stick back off a missed free throw in the final seconds of the first quarter, trimming West Side's deficit to 18-12 entering the second period. Guy (1-0) pushed its lead to 28-15 midway through the second quarter when guard Abigail Smith buried a three-pointer from left wing, completing a 7-0 spurt but West Side chipped away at its deficit, eventually pulling within seven when guard Alexis Barnes swiped a steal and hit Turney for an open floor layup. In the closing seconds of the first half, Guy forward Morgan Hooten pulled down an offensive rebound and sank a short jumper from left baseline, giving the Lady Thunderbirds a 36-27 halftime lead. Brown took over in the third quarter, scoring 12 points, including two three-pointers and a bucket in the paint during the opening minutes of the period. Trailing 44-30, West Side used an 8-0 run to claw back into the game as Turney and Barnes each scored four points. Trailing 54-45 heading into the final eight minutes of play, West Side slowly trimmed its deficit to seven behind two free throws from England and 5-of-6 free throws from Barnes. But, midway through the fourth quarter, Guy used a 10-2 run to put the game away as Brown pumped in six points, including a deep three-pointer from right wing that extended the Lady Thunderbirds' lead to 67-54. West Side, which connected on 19-of-43 shots from the field, scored the final five points as Barnes made a free throw, England hit a pull up jumper from right elbow and reserve guard Eden Bailey added a foul shot, setting the final at 71-59. Following Brown's game-high 30 points, forward Alexis Hogan tallied eight points, while Smith, Rodgers and guard Ashley Ray each finished with seven points for Guy-Perkins. Barnes poured in a team-high 26 points while pulling down a team-high 13 rebounds for West Side, while Turney followed with 17 points and England chipped in eight points. West Side hosts Sacred Heart for homecoming tonight.

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