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Finding the will

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Harley Richardson throws up a shot as time expires.Harley Richardson throws up a shot as time expires.

By Brian Besch
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A night of Lady Pirate basketball – both Spurger and Leggett – saw Spurger take a large lead and Leggett work all game to play catch up. Though it would get close, Spurger escaped victorious with a 44-36 score.

Leggett was shut out of the first quarter at 14-0 and had trouble handling the basketball. Errant passes, problems dribbling and a stingy Spurger defense kept the ball on one half of the court. Leggett did not get off of a shot attempt for the final four minutes of the first period.

“We got a slow start in the first quarter, where we didn’t score any points,” Leggett coach Terri Barlow said. “In the second quarter, they came out and played. I am proud that at the end there, we fought and came back. We had a couple of turnovers and it changed the game. I told them in the locker room that I am proud of them for playing three quarters.”

The streak ended a minute into the second quarter. The home Lady Pirates did a better job of taking more high-percentage shots, cutting into the Spurger lead, but trailed at halftime 25-14. The team had picked up its pace a bit after such a lackluster showing through the first eight minutes.

“I guess I had to get that tech,” Barlow said of getting a technical foul in the second quarter. “I guess I had to get a tech to get them to start playing ball. We have had that pretty much all year. I talk to them every day and tell them that we are missing team chemistry and not playing team ball. It has been a struggle, but I still love my team. They have some good games, but some games are just like they don’t want to be there. I told him after the first quarter if they didn’t want to play this game, I could have called and forfeited.”

Leggett was a different team in the third quarter, hustling on defense and finding consistent scoring. Tamera Henderson heated up and was able to contribute 20 points for the contest.

With six minutes remaining in the game, Spurger held just a field goal lead at 33-31. The difference would again be cut down to two with four and a half minutes to play, yet Leggett could never even the score.

Following Henderson in scoring for the home team was Cheyanne Simons with eight, while Na’llah Jordan, Dixie Hopson, Madyson Burr and Harley Richardson also added points.
Polk County’s Lady Pirates have a lot of work to do to get into contention for the postseason. They are currently 2-6. Brookeland leads the district, while Zavala, Spurger and Chester are fighting to get into the playoffs.

“We can compete, but we’ve just got to be able to come out and play ball for four good quarters,” Barlow said. “We can compete with anybody, it is just the will and wanting to do it.”

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