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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Lady Pirates survive late scare

  • Concord senior guard Sydney Harlan sank two free throws with 10.9 seconds left to play and the Lady Pirates disrupted Quitman's chance at a game-tying three-pointer, deflecting a pass to the wing, surviving a sluggish fourth quarter to pull out a 44-43 win on Tuesday in Quitman.
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  • Concord senior guard Sydney Harlan sank two free throws with 10.9 seconds left to play and the Lady Pirates disrupted Quitman's chance at a game-tying three-pointer, deflecting a pass to the wing, surviving a sluggish fourth quarter to pull out a 44-43 win on Tuesday in Quitman.
    Down 39-29 heading into the fourth quarter, Quitman outscored Concord 14-5 in the final eight minutes. The Lady Pirates used their transition game to build an early lead.
    "We were able to get out and get some buckets in transition early but once they were able to get down and set up their defense they were pretty tough to score on because of their size," said Concord Coach Michael Strother. "They are big, physical and it's hard to get offensive rebounds and score in the paint on them."
    Concord jumped out to a 6-0 lead as Harlan found guard Emily McClure cutting down right side of lane for a layup, McClure found Harlan on a fast break for a layup and post player Madison Robbins notched a stick back.
    Quitman responded when post player Reagan Rackley scored from left block while drawing contact and she completed the three-point play. Forward Roseanna Ezell added two free throws as the Lady Bulldogs pulled within one at 6-5 before McClure scored in transition.
    Following a timeout with 1:24 left in the first quarter, Quitman snatched the lead with four straight, starting when Ezell slashed down left baseline for a layup. Rackley added a putback at the buzzer, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 9-8 lead after one quarter of play.
    Quitman forward Shayna Burklow drained two three-pointers early in the second quarter, the second giving the Lady Bulldogs a 17-15 lead, but Concord would respond by closing the first half on an 11-1 run sparked by McClure, who scored in transition.
    Guard Mallory Benton picked a steal and passed to Harlan, who swished a three-pointer from left wing and post player Madelyn Reed scored in the paint as the Lady Pirates suddenly extended their lead to 25-17.
    After Benton hit a free throw, Quitman post player Maddie Holland wrestled away a loose ball and scored in the closing seconds of the second quarter, leaving Concord with a 26-19 lead at half.
    Rackley hit a turnaround jumper in the paint and Ezell sank a free throw as Quitman closed the gap early in the third quarter before McClure slithered down the baseline for a layup.
    Burklow popped a three-pointer from right wing but Harlan swiped a steal and finished with an open floor layup. Rackley hit two free throws to pull the Lady Bulldogs back within three, but Concord retaliated with five straight as Harlan dropped a difficult driving scoop shot in transition and Robbins converted an old-fashioned three-point play.
    Page 2 of 2 - With the Lady Pirates leading 35-27, Rackley found Ezell off a back cut for a layup, but Benton and McClure each hit a jump shot late in the third quarter, boosting Concord's lead to 39-29 entering the final eight minutes of play.
    Burklow found Ezell backdoor for a layup early in the fourth quarter then Rackley hit a short jumper over two defenders, but Robbins found Benton cutting backdoor for a layup, giving Concord a 41-33 lead.
    Over the next three minutes, Quitman held Concord scoreless while rattling off six straight to pull within a bucket as Rackley hit a free throw and scored in the paint and guard Sydney Johnson ripped a three-pointer up top off an assist from Burklow.
    Clinging to a 41-39 lead with time winding down, Concord forward Mandi Thompson kept the Lady Pirates' possession alive with an offensive rebound, which led to a free throw by Benton.
    Ezell countered with a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left to trim Concord's lead to one at 42-41, but Harlan sank two foul shots and the Lady Pirates played solid perimeter defense, deflecting a pass away from the three-point line and forcing Ezell to settle for a layup at the buzzer.
    "She (Harlan) stepped up and hit both free throws and that ultimately ended up winning the game because they scored there at the end," said Strother.
    Harlan paced Concord (6-4) with 16 points, McClure followed with 11, Robbins added nine and Benton finished with six.
    Rackley led Quitman (3-3) with 16 points, Ezell had 13 and Burklow registered nine.

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