Cali Allen scores on a lay-in after grabbing a steal against the Billies. GINI DAVIS
The 12th-ranked Lady Bulldogs defeated visiting Pleasant Hill 48-37 on Jan. 9 and edged host Glide 44-42 on Jan. 12.
After a slow start, the Lady Dawgs trailed their rival Billies 8-9 after the first quarter, but rode a 13-2 run to an 21-11 lead with 3:27 remaining in the second period, ending the half up 21-12. Creswell outscored Pleasant Hill 10-2 to lead 31-14 with 3:21 left in the third quarter and ended that period up 37-21.
”The girls were a little nervous in the beginning, but after about five minutes everybody started flying around,” said Creswell Head Coach Tyler Hollingsworth. ”The girls were picking it up, and good things happened.”
Karley Bellew paced Creswell with 17 points. Billies freshman Angeni Yeo also had 17. Bellew also had 12 rebounds for a double-double, and five steals.
Bailey Howell added 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks. Cali Allen had four points and five assists. ”Cali had really active hands; she got a lot of deflections for other people to get steals,” Hollingsworth noted.
At Glide, the Lady Dawgs struggled for energy and trailed most of the way. The Wildcats led 16-12 after one and 30-22 at halftime. ”There was no reason we should’ve given up 30 points in the first half,” Hollingsworth said. ”We just weren’t getting after it; pretty much every 50/50 ball, they were coming away with.”
Creswell outscored Glide 10-6 in the third to close to 32-36, and held the ‘Cats to just 12 points in the second half. ”We were really aggressive, flying around; we didn’t shoot very well, but we were scrapping – getting a lot of loose balls and rebounds and playing better defense” Hollingsworth said.
In the final period, Creswell scrapped to a 40-40 tie, but Glide took a 42-41 lead with 50 seconds remaining. ”They had a chance to make it 43-41, but missed the free throw on the foul,” Hollingsworth noted.
With 20 seconds left, Glide missed a shot; Bellew rebounded and pitched the outlet to Aleesha Fox, who was fouled on the shot and sank both free throws with 15 seconds to go.
The ‘Cats missed another shot, Bellew again grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made one of two free throws. Glide’s inbound pass sailed over their players’ heads, the Lady Dawgs inbounded under their own basket with two seconds remaining, and the game was over.
”I told the girls I really enjoyed coaching the second half of that game because they played hard,” Hollingsworth said. ”If you play hard, you’re not going to win every game, but you’re going to give yourselves the chance to win every game.”
Bellew posted another double-double, with 13 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks. Howell added 10 points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Fox had 10 points and three rebounds, and Lexi McCrory had six points.