The Duncan Banner
If the offense stole the headlines for the Empire Lady Bulldogs in their opening contest, then the defense stole the victory in game number two of the season.
With 2:53 left in the fourth quarter and his team leading 46-41, EHS head coach Jason Allensworth called a timeout. Little did he know that would turn out to be a decisive moment, as the Lady Bulldogs held Bray-Doyle scoreless the rest of the way, en route to a 52-41 victory.
“I just told the girls to stay fundamentally sound and not give up any big plays,” Allensworth said about the timeout. “I’m very proud of the way the girls were able to take on the situation and fight back like they did. It shows they have some swagger and ready to win some games this season.”
After an ugly first quarter which saw just eight points combined scored from both teams, proceedings picked up in the second quarter, with multiple ties and lead changes occurring.
With the change of pace though, came trouble for B-D, as senior Erica Hatfield picked up three fouls which forced her to sit the majority of the second quarter.
“Erica not being out there hurt us,” B-D coach Frank Moser said. “She helps us do a lot of different things and is a solid player on offense and defense. We’re not going to win many games giving up 50 or more points. Our defense could have been a lot better and we’re going to work on it.”
Empire (2-0) managed to pull away in the second half, after leading 22-20 at halftime, before extending the lead to 42-29 at the end of the third quarter.
Leading the scoring for Empire was Ashlie Atkinson and Melaina Yearby each with 12 points. Alyssa George scored nine points, with Sherre Dewey scoring seven points.
“This feels a lot better than it did last year,” Atkinson said about the 2-0 start. “We’ve been all working our butts off and this victory is something we wanted. Working hard down low tonight paid off for myself and my teammates as well.”
Bray-Doyle (0-2) was paced by Ashlee Kelly with 10 points followed by Erica Hatfield with nine points.
Empire will be back in action this evening (6:30 p.m.) on the road against Waurika. Bray-Doyle will return home for a contest against Cement this Friday Nov. 30 with tip-off set for 6:30 p.m.