Barnesville Defeats Bridgeport

T-L Photo/RICK THORP Bridgeports Jaren Tucker (14) eyes the lane as shes defended by Barnesvilles Rylee Stephens (30) during Friday nights girls prep basketball opener inside the John J. Havlicek Gymnasium. Tucker led all scorers with 18 points, but the Shamrocks rallied for a 36-34 victory.

WOLFHURST — Barnesville flipped the script on Bridgeport during the closing moments of Friday night’s mutual girls’ basketball season opener.

Utilizing a successful mix of shooting, defense and makes from the charity stripe, the Shamrocks held the Bulldogs to one point during the final three minutes and rallied for a 36-34 victory.

“I looked up at the scoreboard and it was 31-22 and they only scored three points the rest of the way,” Barnesville head coach Jamie Carpenter observed.

“The kids never quit. They didn’t look up at the board and get down. They just kept fighting.”

Jaren Tucker’s runner in the lane gave her 18 points for the night and, what seemed to be, a comfortable lead for the hosts as the final quarter began. But it was the last field goal of the game for a Bridgeport squad saw its confidence wane in the final period just as the Shamrocks’ rose.

“Once (Barnesville) saw the ball go through the basket a few times, we started to tighten up a little bit and the nerves got the best of us,” Bulldogs head coach Greg Harkness said.

Bri Conaway’s free throw put Bridgeport up 32-25, but Sydney Leach hit consecutive jumpers to pull the Shamrocks to within three.

Later, trailing 33-29, Madyson Little’s layup made it a 33-31 game. And when Rylee Stephens made one of two from the line with 1:56 left, Barnesville trailed by only one.

Plus, shots started to fall that weren’t dropping earlier. That included one by Regan Hanlon, which followed a Bridgeport turnover and Shamrock offensive rebound and put Barnesville up, 34-33, with a little more than a minute left.

Bridgeport missed a pair of shots on its ensuing possession, with Barnesville snagging the rebound. Stephens was fouled with 27.7 left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one. But Barnesville got the team rebound on the miss, and Stephens went to the line again with 16.3 left, this time in the double bonus.

Stephens made the second putting Barnesville up 35-33. After the make, Bridgeport got the ball to halfcourt and called time. Conaway was fouled inside with 4.7 seconds left and made one of two free throws, bringing the Bulldogs to within one. She missed the second and Annie Carpenter was fouled after grabbing the rebound with a hair over two ticks left.

Carpenter made the first free throw, but not the second, and Harkness quickly called time to draw up a final play.

“It came down to little things — foul shots, we struggled to rebound and we had some unforced turnovers,” Harkness said of his team’s downfall. “Some turnovers will happen, when you try to make a play, but we had some turnovers we just can’t afford to make. Give (Barnesville) credit. They battled back.”

Tucker was the lone double-figure scorer for the Bulldogs, who return to action Monday at debuting Bellaire.

Little paced Barnesville, which played all nine players on its roster, with seven points and six rebounds. Annie Carpenter added six points and Stephens had seven boards.

Photo by Rick Thorp Barnesvilles Sydney Leach (20) takes a charge defending Bridgeports Angela Sommer (33) during Friday nights mutual girls basketball season opener.

WOLFHURST — Barnesville flipped the script on Bridgeport during the closing moments of Friday night’s mutual girls’ basketball season opener.

Utilizing a successful mix of shooting, defense and makes from the free-throw line, the Shamrocks held the Bulldogs to one point during the final three minutes and rallied for a 36-34 victory.

“I looked up at the scoreboard and it was 31-22 and they only scored three points the rest of the way,” Barnesville coach Jamie Carpenter said.

“The kids never quit. They didn’t look up at the board and get down. They just kept fighting.”

Jaren Tucker’s runner in the lane gave her 18 points for the night and, what seemed to be, a comfortable lead for the hosts as the final quarter began. But it was the last field goal of the game for a Bridgeport squad saw its confidence wane in the final period just as the Shamrocks’ rose.

“Once (Barnesville) saw the ball go through the basket a few times, we started to tighten up a little bit and the nerves got the best of us,” Bulldogs coach Greg Harkness said.

Bri Conaway’s free throw put Bridgeport up 32-25, but Sydney Leach hit consecutive jumpers to pull the Shamrocks to within three.

Later, trailing 33-29, Madyson Little’s layup made it a 33-31 game. And when Rylee Stephens made one of two from the line with 1:56 left, Barnesville trailed by only one.

Plus, shots started to fall that weren’t dropping earlier. That included one by Regan Hanlon, which followed a Bridgeport turnover and Shamrock offensive rebound and put Barnesville up, 34-33, with a little more than a minute left.

Bridgeport missed a pair of shots on its ensuing possession, with Barnesville snagging the rebound. Stephens was fouled with 27.7 left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.

But Barnesville got the team rebound on the miss, and Stephens went to the line again with 16.3 left, this time in the double bonus.

Stephens made the second putting Barnesville up 35-33. After the make, Bridgeport got the ball to halfcourt and called time. Conaway was fouled inside with 4.7 seconds left and made one of two free throws, bringing the Bulldogs to within one. She missed the second and Annie Carpenter was fouled after grabbing the rebound with a hair over two ticks left.

Carpenter made the first free throw, but not the second, and Harkness quickly called time to draw up a final play.

“It came down to little things — foul shots, we struggled to rebound and we had some unforced turnovers,” Harkness said of his team’s downfall. “Some turnovers will happen, when you try to make a play, but we had some turnovers we just can’t afford to make. Give (Barnesville) credit. They battled back.”

Tucker was the lone double-figure scorer for the Bulldogs, who return to action Monday at debuting Bellaire.

Little paced Barnesville, which played all nine players on its roster, with seven points and six rebounds. Annie Carpenter added six points and Stephens had seven boards.


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