By Mark Carpenter –
It was a valiant effort that came up short on Monday, Dec. 4 at Peebles High School. There, the Peebles Lady Indians hosted the vaunted Eastern Lady Warriors in Southern Hills Athletic Conference action and in a game of big runs, the final one belonged to the Lady Warriors as they escaped with a 52-39 victory.
After a JV contest that saw Peebles come out on top 31-16, the Lady Indians’ varsity girls, who came into the outing unbeaten in two games, gave last year’s regional champion Lady Warriors all they could handle but runs of 16-0 and 21-2 by the visitors was enough to rally them in the fourth quarter for the win.
“I know that Peebles is going to just keep getting better so I’m honestly glad we played them early,” said Eastern Brown head coach Kevin Pickerill in a post game radio interview. “They like to hang out around that three-point arc and they have several kids who can put it up. I thought our post players could have their way and they did early and then again late for us. Over time, I think that took a toll on them. They got a little tired and we hit some big shots down the stretch.”
“We showed our experience and didn’t get rattled when we got behind and I though we did a good job of holding our composure and getting back in the game.”
In the opening period, Peebles took an early 6-4 advantage on three-pointers by McKinlee Ryan and Matti Nichols, but would not score another point for six minutes. Behind a pressure defense that continually forced Peebles turnovers, the Eastern strategy was to pound the ball inside to 6’0” senior Mikayla Farris, and Farris responded with four first quarter baskets as the Lady Warriors scored the final 13 points of the frame to lead 17-6.
When Whitney Broughton began the second quarter with a three-point goals, the Eastern run stretched to 16-0, and their lead in the game to 20-6. At that point it seemed that the Lady Indians caught their breath and regrouped after the rocky start, getting back to back buckets from Jerilin Toller and Jacey Justice to end the six-minute drought. After a quick 6-0 Eastern run that extended their lead out to 26, the momentum for the rest of the first half went firmly the way of the home team.
On back to back possession, Ryan hit three-pointers and after a Farris free throw, Peebles ended the first half on a 7-0 run, getting four free throws from Baylee Justice and a long three from Jacey Justice and what looked like an early insurmountable Eastern lead had been cut to just 27-23 by halftime.
That 7-0 run expanded in a big way in the third quarter as the Lady Indians remained on fire, caught up, and reclaimed the lead. Trailing 29-23, Peebles scored the game’s next 13 points, getting a three-pointer from Toller and two baskets by Tatum Arey along the way. What had been a double digit first half deficit had now turned into a 36-29 advantage for the Lady Indians. Even when facing adversity, the Lady Warriors are very well-coached and disciplined and with Farris getting two more scores in the paint. Eastern had pulled to within 36-33 after three quarters of play.
Basketball can be a crazy game of momentum at times and in the fourth period, the momentum was all on the visitor’s side of the scoreboard. A basket by Christian Reed turned out to be the only Peebles field goal in the final eight minutes, as the Lady Warriors took back the lead for good at 43-38 on consecutive treys by Broughton and Camryn Pickerill and it was all downhill from then on for the home side.
A basket by Morgan Reynolds, another Broughton triple, and a bucket by Farris with 1:35 to play capped the 21-2 run hat allowed the Lady Warriors to convert a seven-point deficit into a 50-38 lead. The final point of the night for Peebles came on a Ryan free throw and two free throws by Eastern’s Reynolds closed out a well-earned 52-39 win for the Lady Warriors.
The winners were led by two girls on double figures, Mikayla Farris leading all scorers with 19 points followed closely by Whitney Broughton’s 17. Morgan Reynolds added 7 for the Lady Warriors.
Peebles was paced by McKinlee Ryan’s 10 points, nine of those coming on a trio of three-point goals. Jerilin Toller added 9 for the Lady Indians, who suffered their first loss of the 2017-18 season.
The Peebles girls were back on the home hardwood on Thursday, Dec. 7 and back in SHAC action as they hosted the Manchester Lady Greyhounds. On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Lady Indians will again be on the home court in a non-conference contest with Sciotoville East.
17 10 6 19 –52
6 17 13 3 –39
E. Brown (52): Broughton 17, Pennington 4, Farris 19, Pickerill 5, Reynolds 7
Peebles (39): Ryan 10, Toller 9, B. Justice 4, J. Justice 5, Reed 2, Nichols 5, Arey 4
E. Brown (5): Broughton 3, Pickerill 1, Reynolds 1
Peebles (6): Ryan 3, Toller 1, J. Justice 1, Nichols 1