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— The Gravette Lady Lions led only once last Monday night, but it was at the right time - the end.

Senior Morgan Bayley celebrated her 18th birthday in style, clearing a rebound in the final seconds, dribbling up the left side and canning a 16-foot jumper from the baseline as time expired to lift Gravette to a 37-35 nonconference victory over Greenland.

“(Monday) was her birthday and she gave herself and the team a birthday present,” Gravette coach Duane Thomas said.

The last play wasn’t exactly designed, but the 5-foot-6 guard, who led her team with nine points, drained a 3-pointer from the corner to tie it at 35 with 1 minute, 5 seconds left. That one was drawn up, Thomas said.

“We got what we wanted there,” said Thomas, whose team improved to 6-4. “That was a set play and she hit it.”

Greenland’s Ashley Riggles got free for a layup for a 35-32 Lady Pirates lead, but Bayley popped free on a screen to make Gravette’sfirst field goal of the fourth quarter.

Thomas also said Gravette got what it wanted in the end, despite Gravette’s struggles from the foul line and early turnovers against Greenland’s full-court pressure.

“That’s really all you can ask for in the end is a shot to win,” Thomas said. “Give Greenland credit. They scrapped and pressured us. (Bayley) hit the shot to tie it and we got it back and we were going for one and turned it over.

“But it worked out OK.”

It looked as though Greenland was going to take the lead in the waning seconds as Amber Snider got free underneath but Gravette’s Julia Himsl blocked the ball out of bounds with 8.5 seconds left.

But the Lady Pirates misfired again and Bayley was there for the rebound and ensuing game-winner.

Greenland coach Alan Barton said his team didn’t execute down the stretch.

“Maybe we’re not destined to win,” said Barton, whose team dropped to 1-7. “We missed free throws. We turned the ball over. We’ve just gotta keep fighting.”

Greenland’s Shelby Alaniz was the only player to reach double figures, scoring 12 points. Greenland committed 21 turnovers in the game, including 10 in the fourth quarter. The Lady Pirates made just 4 of 13 free throws.

Gravette struggled as well from the foul line, making just 11 of 22, but they hit 4 of 7 in the fourth quarter.

Scoring for the Lady Lions were Bayley 9, Newell 7, Himsl and VanOtterloo 6 apiece and Detring, Alsup and Nichols with 3 points each.

Lions 51, Greenland 45

David O’Brien hit all six of his free-throw attempts in the final 1:01 to lift the Lions past the Pirates.

O’Brien led Gravette (2-8) with 15 points. The 5-9 senior was the only Lion in double figures. Tanner Daniels, Kyle Bilderback and Nick Hendren each contributed 9 points to the cause, Montee had 5 and McGarrah and Strzelecki 2 apiece.

Elijah Wolfe led all scorers with 16 points for Greenland (1-7). The Pirates led 24-23 at half-time, but Gravette scored the first five points of the half and never trailed again.

Sports, Pages 12 on 12/23/2009

Print Headline: Lions, Lady Lions Topple Greenland At Lion Fieldhouse

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