Lady Lions earn 59-43 victory
Published 9:24 am Monday, December 11, 2017
Pineville put the 13th Region All A teams on notice Friday. Playing one of the favorites to win the All A championship, the Lady Lions picked up their fourth straight victory — all by double digits.
Pineville found their stride in the second half, outscoring the Lady Jackets by 13 en route to a 59-43 win. With the victory, the Lady Lions continue a strong start that mirrors their success from a year ago.
“Every time we play we know it’s going to be a great game. I told them tonight it’s who wants it more,” said Pineville coach Jamie Mills regarding the game against Williamsburg. “We played great, played well, (and) made some big shots. Defensively I was a little disappointed. We got to move our feet a little better, but overall we played a great game. I’m real proud of them.
“They play with confidence now. They are senior-oriented. They play to win.”
The x-factor in the game for Pineville was the emergence of Makenzie Fuson as an offensive threat. The senior forward racked up 14 points while shooting a team-best 66.7 percent from the field. She also tallied seven rebounds, two steals and a block.
“We got five or six people that can get double figures any night. Raigan didn’t have her best game tonight, but Makenzie stepped up,” said Mills. “She is capable of doing that every night. Hopefully this will get her going for the rest of the year because she is more than capable of getting double figures every game.”
Jill Enix led the team in scoring with a team-high 16 points while shooting at a 42.9 percent clip. She grabbed nine boards as well. Whitney Caldwell finished with 15 points on the night.
Williamsburg was paced by Lillie Hall and Kayla Gibson. Both finished the game with 12 points. Hall knocked down eight of her nine free throws while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
Pineville held the Lady Jackets to five points in the first while tallying 10 of their own. A basket and free throw by Enix gave the Lady Lions a 6-3 lead with 2:48 remaining in the quarter.
A jumper by Sarah Combs and a layup by Fuson increased the lead to 10-3 with 57.5 seconds left. A basket by Gibson cut the lead to 10-5 heading into the second.
While Pineville was trying to give the starters a rest, Williamsburg began chipping away at the lead. The Lady Jackets opened the quarter with a 7-0 run. A 3-pointer by Madison Chapman gave Williamsburg a 12-10 lead.
“We got sloppy right their. (We) got a little lost, but it’s something we’re still trying to work on,” said Mills. “Our bench, we’re going to have to get better ball-handling, not lose assignments and take good shots.”
The lead changed hands several times down the stretch before consecutive baskets by Enix gave Pineville a 20-17 lead heading into halftime.
A 12-0 run midway through the third helped the Lady Lions gain a 15-point lead with less than three minutes to go in the quarter. A 3-pointer by Caldwell and back-to-back baskets by Fuson gave Pineville a 31-21 lead with 3:10 remaining.
A 3-pointer and jumper by Combs increased the lead to 36-21.
Abbott ended the run with a 3-pointer to narrow the deficit to 36-24. Free throws by Hall with less than a second left cut the Pineville lead to 38-26 heading into the fourth.
Both teams had their highest scoring outputs in the final quarter. Williamsburg was able to cut the lead to five, 43-38, on a pair of free throws by Hall with 4:48 remaining in the game. That was as close as the Lady Jackets would get as the Lady Lions went on a 16-5 run in the remaining minutes to claim the 16-point victory.
Pineville (4-0) returns to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday when they travel to Barbourville (2-3).
Williamsburg (2-1) battles Middlesboro (1-3) at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.
Pineville 59, Williamsburg 43
Sarah Combs 4 2-4 12, Whitney Caldwell 6 1-2 15, Jill Enix 6 4-5 16, Raigan King 0 2-6 2, Makenzie Fuson 6 1-2 14. Totals: 23 10-19 59.
Kelsey Tye 0 0-0 0, Kayla Gibson 3 4-7 12, Tori Lester 1 0-0 2, Lillie Abbott 4 0-2 9, Lillie Hall 2 8-9 12, Madison Chapman 2 1-2 6, Grace Patrick 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 13-20 43.
Pineville 10 10 18 21 — 59
Williamsburg 5 12 9 17 — 43
3-point goals: Pineville 5 (Combs 2, Caldwell 2, Fuson 1), Williamsburg 4 (Gibson 2, Abbott 1, Chapman 1). Rebounds: Pineville 35 (Enix 9, King 9), Williamsburg 27 (Hall 7).
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN