Sowards leads the way
for Peebles with 22 points –
Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
Win number 10 on the season came on Thursday, Jan. 19 for the Peebles Lady Indians and it turned out to be one of relative ease, as their offense came alive and racked up 80 points in getting their second win of the year over the West Union Lady Dragons.
The Lady Indians played host to West Union last week and after a close first quarter, used a 13-0 run to break open the game and then dominated the rest of the way for an 80-29 victory. After being held to just three points in the first half, Peebles senior Jessica Sowards muscled her way to 19 in the second half to lead all scorers with 22, five above her season average.
“We really shot the ball well tonight,” said Peebles head coach Billie Jo Justice in her post game radio interview. “We have been battling a lot of sickness, but we bounced back from it tonight.”
The Lady Dragons kept the contest close in the first quarter, getting scores from Mackenzie Bickett, Jaycee Baldwin, and Kaylee Welch to lead 6-5. The home team answered with a 5-0 spurt to take a lead they never relinquished. An old-fashioned three-point play by Jerilin Toller ended the first stanza with Peebles on top 14-8.
After scoring the final three points of the first period, the Lady Indians turned it into a 13-0 run with the first 10 points of the second frame, a run that included eight straight points by McKinlee Ryan, six of them coming on a pair of three-point goals. That put the Peebles girls on top 24-8, when Baldwin finally stopped the flooding with a bucket, which the Lady Indians promptly answered with a 9-0 run, getting a nice reverse layup from Christian Reed and a Tatum Arey stick back along the way. West Union’s Shannon Runyan drilled a long three before the end of the half but her team found itself on the short end of a 35-13 deficit heading into halftime.
The second half began much like the first half had ended, with the Lady Indians scoring the first 10 points, eight of them by Sowards, to take a commanding 45-13 advantage. West Union got a three-point play from Baldwin and a Welch three in the third quarter, but that barely made a dent in the Peebles lead, and a put back bucket at the buzzer left the home side up 53-22 heading into the final period.
Peebles got three-pointers from Sowards and Baylee Justice early in the fourth, and a trey by West Union’s Harley Silvia made it 66-29. Late in the contest, Coach Justice cleared her bench and a stick back by Harlee Wilkinson and a three-pointer by Anna Kremin closed out the scoring in a big 80-29 win for the Lady Indians.
The winners placed four players in double figures, paced by the 22 from Sowards. Ryan added 16, Toller 15, and Reed 10 for the Lady Indians. Tatum Arey almost hit the double figure mark, tossing in 9 points.
“We are playing with more confidence and our kids are battling hard,” added Coach Justice. “It was good to see a lot of girls step up tonight.”
West Union was led by 14 points from Jaycee Baldwin, with Kaylee Welch and Harley Silvia getting 5 apiece. The Lady Dragons were again plagued by the turnover bug, giving the ball away 23 times on the night.
The win improved the Lady Indians to 10-5 on the year, and evened their mark in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference at 4 wins and 4 losses. West Union dropped to 5-10, 2-7 in the SHAC.
8 5 9 7 –29
14 21 18 27 –80
W. Union (29): Bickett 2, Baldwin 14, Welch 5, Runyan 3, Silvia 5
Peebles (80): Sowards 22, Ryan 16, Toller 15, Justice 3, Arey 9, Reed 10, Wilkinson 2, Kremin 3