Eupora and West Oktibbeha tipped off Friday evening. At night’s end the teams split with the Lady Eagles taking a 50-47 victory, while the Timberwolves claimed the boy’s contest 81-36.
The Lady Eagles and Lady Timberwolves faced off in what resulted in a back and forth contest that came down to the last period before Eupora left the court victorious.
“It was a pretty big win for the girls,” Eagles coach Bryant Thomas said. “To them it was kind of like a rivalry game. We talked all week about rebounding and defense and limiting them running. They bought in and we pulled off a victory.”
Things were a little more solemn on the West Oktibbeha side as coach Danny Crawford described what his team could gain from a game like this.
“It was a real tough loss,” said Crawford. “Jaslynn and Alexis both had 18. Both of them played hard, we just missed a lot of free throws down the end. With our girls being so young, the more games we play the better we get. They just get better and better each game.”
First period action saw Eupora outscore West Oktibbeha by six to take a 13-7 lead into the second period.
The second period modeled its predecessor pretty closely as again the Lady Eagles scored 13, while the Lady Timberwolves pulled down 10 in the period. After two Eupora held a 26-17 lead.
West Oktibbeha stepped up its game coming out the locker room as the third period welcomed the first time that the Lady Timberwolves outscored their opponent. Posting 10 points, West Oktibbeha closed the scoring gap to eight as the score stood 35-27 heading into the final period of play.
The Lady Timberwolves enjoyed their highest offensive period as they added 20 to their total, but in the end they were just shy of overtaking the Lady Eagles. After tacking on 15 to its total Eupora walked away with a victory.
Jaliyaah Patterson led the Lady Eagles with 12, followed by Chandre Watson who scored 10. West Oktibbeha’s efforts were led by Jaslynn Bedford and Alexis Neely who both posted 18.
Next up for Eupora will be a trip to Noxapater on Dec. 15, while West Oktibbeha welcomes Noxubee County to town on Jan. 8.
West Oktibbeha 81
The boys of Eupora and West Oktibbeha met on the hardwood where the Timberwolves claimed a 45 point victory.
“It was a great effort by the whole team,” Crawford said. “They held a grudge from the football blowout and that just motivated them to play hard. Everybody was on point. We lost a tough one to Noxubee County on Tuesday night where we blew a 16 point lead to lose by two. So our guys were just ready to play.”
West Oktibbeha took the reins from the very beginning enjoying a 12-0 scoring run to start the game. Combined with an impenetrable defense that held Eupora to just one basket, the Timberwolves carried a 17-2 lead into the second period.
The offensive showing continued for the Timberwolves as they posted 26 in the second, while the eagles continued to struggle offensively putting up nine points to trail 45-11 heading into the locker room.
Scoring did not change much in the second half as West Oktibbeha outscored the Eagles 37-25 in the final periods of action.
Von Smith hit a trio of 3-pointers to lead the Timberwolves who scored 19 in the period. Eupora put up 10 to place the score at 62-21 heading into the final moments.
Fourth period scoring was the closest of the night as the two teams were only separated by three points in the period. Eupora managed to score 15, while West Oktibbeha found the basket for 18 to close Friday with an 81-36 victory.
West Oktibbeha was led by Smith who ended his night with 19, while teammate Dontaveous Crawford scored 18. Vandy Smith led the Eagle charge with eight.
“Dontaveous does everything,” said Crawford. “Blocks shots, defends, handles the ball, he is just a great talent for us. Von had a great game as well. He is one of my two football players who was ready for this game. He just came out ready to play.”
Reflecting on the game, Thomas chose to look at the effort his team gave while also commending the talent of West Oktibbeha.
“The positive side is our guys never quit,” Thomas said. “They kept rebounding and trying to get in there and play. They had a tough loss to Noxubee County so they were ready to compete. Playing those guys it’s really disappointing they don’t have a chance to make the playoffs this year because they are a really special team. On our end, our kids kept playing. Nobody held their head down and we are going to continue to get better.”
Following their victory West Oktibbeha will face Noxubee County on Jan. 8, while Eupora travels to Noxapater on Dec. 15.