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Powell edges past BHS girls in KCHS tourney

Christmas, even post-Christmas, tournaments are often like this.

In one of those games where every possession, every shot and every loose ball had significance to the game’s final outcome, Powell’s Lady Panthers (5-4) knocked off Bearden’s Lady Bulldogs (6-4) 45-42 in the first round of the Pilot round-robin Tournament at Catholic High School Tuesday, Dec. 28.

In a game in which neither team had more than a two-possession lead, Powell did enough of the little things right. The Lady Panthers broke from a 38-38 deadlock late in the fourth quarter to a 43-38 lead that was enough of a run to make the ultimate difference.

Bearden head coach Richard Cowan had said before the game that Powell was “a lot like us,” and the two teams proved the wisdom of his comments once the game tipped off.

“It was a game neither team seized. We missed a rebound down there when the game was tied. We get that rebound, and we get the last shot. They get a putback and a foul. That was basically the turning point of the game,” Cowan said.

Both teams seemed rusty in the early going, but the pace of the game quickened considerably in the second half.

“I learned that 12 days off is hard to overcome,” Cowan said. “We probably weren’t as sharp as we’ve been the last two or three games we’ve played, and defensively, we probably weren’t as good as we’ve been, especially in the West game.”

Jai-Jai McLaughlin and Mallory Uekman each had 11 points for Bearden, while Mary-Mc Alexander and Lexus Norwood had eight each.

Uekman had eight second half points, two threes and another basket in an impressive half for the Lady Bulldogs.

“It was a game of effort, of which team wanted it more,” Alexander said. “It was back-and-forth who was going to get on the floor and get the loose balls. In the end, they put it on us. This loss encourages us to step up and play our hardest ... to learn from our mistakes.”

A fast and furious fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Lady Panthers. Lauren White, who came off the bench to score 12 key points, had a three-point play to break the tie.

“I think we played harder and turned on our defense,” Norwood said. “We realized we were down and needed to come back, but just didn’t follow through.”

Cowan said Powell’s defense “had the middle clogged up quite a bit.”


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