BRYAN– The second contest of the night at Bryan High School on Wednesday, February 22, matched the Fayette Lady Eagles and the Hicksville Lady Aces. Although the Eagles were yet to taste victory on the season, that did not deter the effort of the ladies as they battled from start to finish against the highly favored Aces who entered the contest with a 16-6 record.
Fayette’s worst nightmare became reality as Hicksville sprinted out to an 11-0 lead. The Eagles Alexus Ball scored the first two points with 3:42 left in opening quarter. However, the Lady Aces utilized balanced scoring as six players posted points in the period. With 32 seconds left, Rhys Ruger hit a shot for Fayette. The slow start resulted in 17-4 lead for Hicksville after one.
Although down by 13, the Lady Eagles continued to battle. Hicksville extended the lead to 19-4 early in the quarter. However, Addison Bentley scored inside, then with 5:14 left in the period, Ball drilled one from way downtown to cut the deficit to 10 points. Ruger hit the first of two free throws, then Kaitlin Brubaker hit the second of a pair. With just under 4 minutes till intermission, Fayette had cut the lead to just 8 points.
Hicksville broke out of their drought thanks to two charity tosses, then two field goals to push the lead back to 14.
Mataya Rufenacht narrowed the margin to 10 points as she ended the half with two free throws, then a basket with 4 seconds on the clock leaving Fayette trailing 25-15.
The third quarter began with Janaya Hibbard nailing a three for Fayette. Hicksville answered, then Ruger hit two foul shots with 5:45 left in the quarter to make the score 27-20. Unfortunately for the Lady Eagles the freebies were their last points of the period. The Lady Aces utilized full court pressure to fuel a 12-0 run, and the quarter concluded with Fayette now trailing 39-20.
Although down by 19 points to open the final period, Fayette didn’t let the score deter their spirit. The Lady Eagles got a baseline jumper from Haley Perdue, then a triple from Rufenacht to trim the lead to 15.
Hicksville answered with a couple buckets, while Hibbard added one free throw with 3:46 left. Ball hit another three pointer and Brubaker got a steal and layup to cut the lead to 43-31 with 2:05 left. However, the points were the last of the night for Fayette. Hicksville added one free throw, an offensive rebound stick back, then another free throw to make the final score 47-31.
Although Fayette trailed by double digits the majority of the contest, you wouldn’t have known it by their effort. The Eagle players continued to drive hard to the basket, fight for loose balls and rebounds, and pressure Hicksville when they had the ball. Despite the fact the team was not able to secure a win on the season, they kept fighting until the final horn sounded.
The loss marked the final appearance in a Fayette Lady Eagle uniform for three seniors, Janaya Hibbard, Haley Perdue, and Kaitlin Brubaker. The three girls had big shoes to fill from last season’s graduating class, but they set a fine example with their hard work and positive attitude. If that effort and attitude continues to the returning players, then the future looks bright for Fayette. In fact, Head Coach
Tim Moor stated following the contest that he was very proud of the effort put forth by his team.
Seven Fayette players registered points in contest. Ball led the way for the Lady Eagles with 8 points, while Rufenacht added 7 points. Ruger contributed 5 points to the cause and Hibbard finished with 4. Brubaker had 3 points, with Perdue and Bentley each adding a bucket.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Hicksville 17 8 14 8 – 47
Fayette 4 11 5 11 – 31
Kent Hutchison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org