Red Bird hits free throws to beat Lady Lions

Published 9:50 am Monday, December 20, 2021

The visiting Lady Cardinals of Red Bird connected on 10 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter on Friday to claim a 55-49 victory over homestanding Pineville.

The Lady Lions trailed 39-36 after the third quarter.

Alyssa Gibson hit four straight free throws to put Red Bird ahead 47-39 at the 5:46 mark.

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Pineville would get as close as two points with 1:03 to play. Liberty Taylor and Gibson made free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Gibson, a senior guard, who recently topped the 2,000-point mark in her career, powered Red Bird with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Senior center McKenzie Lawson added nine points. Taylor and Halee Jackson each finished with seven points.

Eighth-grade forward Rachel Howard paced Pineville with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Junior guard Abigail Jackson scored 15 points. Ava Arnett finished with six points and seven rebounds. Malley Smith and Kamryn Biliter each added five points. Biliter also grabbed seven boards.

The Lady Lions committed 20 turnovers and hit just 13 of 32 from the free throw line.

Howard scored five points to give Pineville a 9-4 advantage with 1:21 left the opening quarter, but the Lady Cardinals reeled off six straight points to lead 10-9 after one period.

The lead changed hands three times until Gibson nailed a 3-pointer giving Red Bird a 20-17 lead at the 5:29 mark.

A steal by Gibson and a jumper from Jackson gave the Lady Cardinals a 27-19 advantage with three minutes remaining in the first half.

Red Bird took a 31-27 lead into the break.

Jackson scored four points and Smith added a basket as Pineville cut the deficit to 37-36 with 3:18 left in the third quarter.

The Lady Cardinals edged Pineville 44-42 on rebounds.

Red Bird (4-3) traveled to Buckhorn on Monday and will not play again until the 13th Region All “A” Classic on Jan. 3 against Jackson County at Williamsburg.

Pineville (2-6) played Lynn Camp (0-7) on Monday in the Arby’s/KFC Holiday Classic at McCreary Central. The Lady Lions will participate in the Don Franklin Classic at Cumberland County High School from Dec. 27-29.