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Lady Hornets rally back with clutch free throws

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / West Lincoln's Jana Case (24) and Hanna Moak (back) apply defensive pressure on Loyd Star's Caylee Yarborough (4) in girls' action.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / West Lincoln’s Jana Case (24) and Hanna Moak (back) apply defensive pressure on Loyd Star’s Caylee Yarborough (4) in girls’ action.

Bears escape with win

The Loyd Star Lady Hornets rallied late in the fourth quarter to clinch a division win over West Lincoln Friday night in Region 7-2A action at Loyd Star’s gymnasium.

The Lady Hornets hit four clutch free throws with 15 seconds left to defeat the Lady Bears 46-42.

In boys’ action, the Bears escaped Loyd Star with a narrow 52-49 win.

Loyd Star will resume division action Tuesday as the Hornets and Lady Hornets host Bassfield for three games. Junior varsity action begins at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity games at 6 and 7:30 p.m.

West Lincoln will also be in action Tuesday as it travels to Prentiss for a big division test against the Bulldogs. Junior varsity action starts at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity girls at 6 and boys at 7:30 p.m.

Lady Hornets 46, Lady Bears 42 

West Lincoln (9-7, 1-1) secured a 24-20 lead at halftime and outscored the Lady Hornets 10-8 to take a 34-28 lead into the fourth quarter.

In the final period, the Lady Hornets (8-1, 1-0) exploded with an 18-8 run to sting the Lady Bears for the win. With 15 seconds remaining, Loyd Star’s Makenzie Smith and Toni Banks combined to hit four free throws to give the Lady Hornets the victory.

“We started off the game slow, but managed to fight back at the end to get the win,” said Loyd Star coach Gene “Moochie” Britt. “Overall, I was proud of the girls’ effort; they fought hard defensively to stay in the game.”

Smith powered the Lady Hornets with 15 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Shelby contributed 11 points and eight rebounds. Hannah Dickerson netted eight points and had five rebounds. Banks finished with six points, two steals and two assists. Faith Bergeron scored four points and had three steals. Caylee Yarborough had two points.

Hanna Moak paced the Lady Bears with 24 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Layton Sill chipped in with five points. Jana Case and Skylar Hall provided four points each. Carly Holden scored three points and Demeshia Deer added two points.

“The girls did a good job outplaying Loyd Star for three quarters, but we failed to put them away when we had a chance,” said West Lincoln coach Lane Young. “Loyd Star did a great job rallying back in the fourth quarter. We had our shot to win the game, but Loyd Star made the plays they needed to get the win.”

West Lincoln 52, Loyd Star 49 

The boys’ game was very similar to the girls’ as the Loyd Star Hornets came out strong in the first to claim a 15-12 lead. They outscored the Bears 8-6 in the second period to take a 23-18 lead into halftime.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / West Lincoln's Ronnie Edwards takes a tough shot in between two Loyd Star defenders Avery Leggett (15) and Levi Redd (23) in boys’ action Friday night.

Daily Leader / Marty Albright / West Lincoln’s Ronnie Edwards takes a tough shot in between two Loyd Star defenders Avery Leggett (15) and Levi Redd (23) in boys’ action Friday night.

Loyd Star managed to hold on to its lead with a 15-14 run to close out the third quarter with a 38-32 advantage.

In the final quarter, West Lincoln (10-6, 1-1) outscored the Hornets 20-11 to secure the victory.

With 18 seconds remaining in the contest and the game tied at 49-49, Loyd Star tried to call a timeout to set the final scoring play, but none of the three referees heard Britt call for it as the clock ticked down to 10 seconds.

The Hornets (4-5, 0-1) managed to get the refs’ attention but Britt was handed a technical foul in the process. West Lincoln cashed in 1-of-2 free throws to give the Bears a 50-49 lead and the ball back. Donterrius Taylor then scored on a layup to give West Lincoln a 52-49 lead and the win.

“The guys played really well in spurts,” said Young. “We were fortunate to get the win. Loyd Star came out fired up and ready to play us from the start. We have got to do a better job shooting and protecting the ball.”

Keshaun London powered the Bears with 23 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Ronnie Edwards contributed a double-double performance of 21 points and 11 points. Taylor finished with five points and had nine rebounds. Adam Martinez scored three points and had four rebounds.

Levi Redd was the top scorer and rebounder for the Hornets with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Patrick Price and Javion Beard chipped in with eight points each. Beards also had eight rebounds. Greg Hooks provided six points. Zach Arnold scored four points. Cade Hodges had three points and Avery Leggett finished with two points.

“We played well enough to get the win,” said Britt. “We just missed too many key shots and free throws that would help us at the end. Overall, we just did not finish it at the end.”

In junior varsity boys’ action, Loyd Star defeated West Lincoln 37-21.

Dawson Zumbro and Dane Smith led the Hornets with nine points each. Zabien Price scored seven points.

Jatavian Lewis paced the Bears with eight points. Karlton Byrd had six points.