Ryan scores 19 in loss, including five treys –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
After beginning their season with three consecutive non-conference victories, the Peebles Lady Indians stepped right into the fire of Southern Hills Athletic Conference play on Monday, Dec. 5 with a trip across county borders to battle one of the preseason favorites in the SHAC, the Eastern Lady Warriors. Though an underdog going in, the Peebles girls put up quite a fight, hanging with the Lady Warriors all the way through before the Eastern girls pulled away for a 50-39 win.
“I was very proud of our girls tonight,” said Peebles head coach Billie Jo Justice. “I think we are continuing to improve and we will continues to work on our weaknesses. It was a tough game tonight, Eastern is a very solid and well-coached team.”
The Lady Indians got off to a good start in the early going, once again behind the long-distance accuracy of McKinlee Ryan, who has established herself as a serious threat from deep, On Monday night, Ryan hit a pair of threes in the first quarter to help Peebles grab a 10-3 advantage, Unfortunately, that was the high water mark of the opening 14 minutes of play as over the span of the rest of the first period and the first six minutes of the second, the Lady Warriors dominated to the tune of 20 straight points.
Eastern got a pair of buckets from Morgan Reynolds and another from Mikayla Farris to end the first quarter on top 11-10, and then kept up the heat. Baskets by Farris and Allison Day kept the run rolling and back-to-back three-pointers by Alexa Pennington and a basket by Allison Mallott made it 23-10 Eastern with 2:12 left in the first half.
The Lady Indians were able to withstand that blow and rallied to put up a 7-0 run to close out the half, getting three-pointers from Ryan and Jessica Sowards to slice an double digit Eastern lead down to just 23-17 at the intermission.
After the break, the Lady Warriors took control again, beginning the third quarter with an 8-2 spurt that stretched their lead back to double digits at31-19, but again the Peebles squad weathered the storm and had an answer. A three-point goal by Matti Nichols, a free throw by Ryan, and a jumper by Tatum Arey cut the Eastern lead back to six, 31-25, after three quarters.
The Peebles run reached eight straight when Arey hit another “J” to start the final period, but the home team had their own answer. After Ryan nailed another trey to make it 35-30 Eastern with 5:45 to play, the Lady Warriors got a Pennington bucket and a three-point play from Farris to go back on top by 10. From deep in the corner, Ryan drilled her fifth three of the game to keep her team within striking distance, trailing 42-35 with three minutes remaining. The Lady Warriors had an immediate response on their next possession, getting a matching trey from Whitney Broughton to lead 45-35. Two Sowards free throws cut the margin back to eight but time was running out on a Peebles comeback. To seal the win, the Lady Warriors finished the game with a 5-2 run and claimed their third victory against no defeats, downing the Lady Indians by a final count of 50-39.
In the loss, Peebles was led by 19 points from Ryan, the only Lady Indian to reach double figures, Jessica Sowards scored 7 and Tatum Arey 6.
Eastern was paced by 16 points from Farris, joined in double figures by Pennington with 12. Reynolds added 9 for the winners.
Peebles 10 7 8 14 –39
E. Brown 11 12 8 19 –50
Peebles (39): Sowards 1 4-4 7, Ryan 6 2-4 19, Nichols 1 0-0 3, Arey 3 0-0 6, Toller 2 0-2 4, Team 13 6-10 39.
E. Brown (50): Pickerill 1 0-1 2, Broughton 2 0-0 5, Reynolds 3 3-4 9, Day 1 2-2 4, Mallott 1 0-0 2, Farris 6 4-5 16, Pennington 3 4-4 12, Team 17 13-16 50.
Peebles (7): Sowards 1, Ryan 5, Nichols 1
Eastern (3): Broughton 1, Pennington 2