The Bowie Lady Rabbits lost their home opener on Tuesday to Burkburnett, despite coming back from double-digits in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Rabbits came up just short, losing 36-34 to the Lady Bulldogs. It had been more than a week since Bowie had played its last game, with both scheduled games the previous week canceled.
The Lady Rabbits started the game on the right foot. Their furious press defense forced turnovers from Burkburnett and funneled in to every other way they played. Offensive rebounds were won, free throws were drawn, 50-50 plays seemed to go there way. The only thing was no one could make a basket.
Camberley Gunter’s lone 3-pointer was the only field goal Bowie made in the first quarter. The other six points came at the free throw line. The Lady Rabbits led only 9-8 heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs started to settle down. With several athletic players, if a trap came a beat too late, they had several ball handlers who could zip around and through Bowie’s press.
In the half court, Burkburnett started to do a good job passing around the zone to its best shooter who started knocking in 3-pointers.
The Lady Rabbits’ offense continued to struggle making shots from the field, scoring only six points in the second quarter. Bowie was still in striking distance, but trailed 22-15 at halftime.
The offense picked up a tad for the Lady Rabbits in the third quarter, with it being the only one they scored double-digit points in. Bowie cut the lead to one score 28-25 at one point, but the Lady Bulldogs pulled away in the final minute and half to 32-25 heading into the final quarter.
Burkburnett continued to make a couple of shots, but also started to make all of the hustle plays. The Lady Rabbits had issues keeping the Lady Bulldogs from getting offensive rebounds.
Those two things and just to try something different since the press was not producing many turnovers, led Coach Joe Crabb to switch to a man-to-man defense instead of the trapping zone.
With a comfortable lead though, Burkburnett players were patient enough to pass the ball around the perimeter until the perfect opportunity to score or draw free throws came open.
Bowie’s offense continued to struggle and time was running short. Down 36-26 with 4:14 left to play, Crabb switched back to the press and zone to at least force the action.
All of a sudden, the chaos the press provided in the first quarter came back and Taygon Jones started getting to the free throw line. Consecutive turnovers turned into consecutive free throw trips and made 3-point basket. The seven-point swing in one minute made it a one score game 36-33 with 3:14 still left to play.
Jones came through again flying in for an offensive rebound following a shot and earned another trip to the line. She made one to cut the lead to 36-34 with 2:27 left.
The two teams traded possessions until it got under one minute left. With less than 30 seconds left, Bowie felt jubilation getting the ball back thanks to a turnover out of bounds, but immediately turned the ball back over due to a travel violation.
Burkburnett was sent to the line with 21 seconds left and missed.
The Lady Rabbits got the rebound and had a chance to tie or take the lead with a basket, but turned the ball over again.
The Lady Bulldogs were sent to the free throw line again with a chance to ice the game, but the player missed both free throws. Bowie got the rebound and with 10 seconds had plenty of time to get down court and score a basket. Crabb elected to not call a timeout and the Lady Rabbits again turned the ball over on an errant pass inside that finished the game.
Burkburnett held on to win 36-34.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.