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Prairie Valley girls beat Gold-Burg in play-in

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In a rematch from a few days before, the Prairie Valley Lady Bulldogs won the play-in game against Gold-Burg on Friday night in Saint Jo to earn their first playoff appearance since 2013.
The Lady Bulldogs held on to win another close game 41-38 just three days removed from winning a close game against the same Gold-Burg team.
Both teams were ready for the other coming into Friday’s game. Prairie Valley had won only 43-42 earlier in the week, but it could have easily been won by the Lady Bears with a couple of shots and free throws bouncing their way in a crazy final three minutes.
The Lady Bulldogs knew they had to defend Gold-Burg’s senior Kelly Contreras well and not give up any open 3-pointers against their 1-3-1 zone.
The Lady Bears knew they had to rebound well and focus their efforts on limiting Prairie Valley’s leading scorers Carmen Gomez and Emily Carpenter.
The first quarter saw Gold-Burg go to freshman post player Sadie Weaver early and often to use her height to get off tough shots near the basket and draw fouls.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by not just Gomez by her little sister Makaylee. The two combined to score all of Prairie Valley’s 11 points in the first quarter as they led 11-10.
The Lady Bulldogs lead grows a little bit with some scoring contributions from Carpenter and Karagan Ritchie, leading 20-12 at the most midway through the quarter.
The Lady Bears changed their defense from a zone to a switching man-to-man defense that stifled Prairie Valley for all but one more basket the rest of the way.
Gold-Burg was still trying to get close shots around the rim and were drawing more free throw attempts, but did not make as many as it could.
The defense allowed the Lady Bears to cut the lead to 22-17 at halftime, but better shooting (5-11) from the free throw line could have had them in the lead.
The third quarter saw Gold-Burg slowly come back to tie the score up by the end. Even with the team switching back to the 2-3 zone for most of the quarter, Prairie Valley’s offense seemed out of sync with too many turnovers.
The score was tied 30-30 heading into the fourth quarter. With the amount of free throws Gold-Burg was earning, foul trouble for the Lady Bulldogs in the post had been trouble all game.
Two minutes into the final period, Prairie Valley senior Jaylie O’Neal fouled out.
Having to defend the taller Weaver now fell to Briana Harris, who matched better with her height, but was less experienced despite being older.
The teams had trouble scoring field goals for most of the quarter, but fouls on both sides meant players were heading to the free throw line for crucial free throws down the stretch.
Makaylee gave the Lady Bulldogs 35-34 lead with 2:14 to play. Gold-Burg’s Contreras tied the game 30 seconds later by making one free throw.
The Lady Bears then was gifted a turnover and had a chance to break the 35-35 tie with 1:34 left with free throws, but missed.
On the other end, the Lady Bulldogs Carpenter earned herself free throw attempts and made one to give them a 36-35 lead with 1:17 left to play
After a jump ball got Prairie Valley the ball back a few seconds later, the Lady Bulldogs broke through Gold-Burg’s full-court press defense with Harris scoring on an uncontested layup to make the score 38-35.
The Lady Bears were able to respond quickly as Madison Fulmer made a shot to cut the lead to 38-37 with 50 seconds left to play.
Gold-Burg elected not to foul but pressure Prairie Valley in the hope to force a steal. After running some clock, the team was able to get a clear layup for Harris following several good passes to make the score 40-37 with 18 seconds left.
The Lady Bears ran down the court and knew they needed to hunt a 3-point shot that had been absent for them all game. With three seconds left a desperate 3-point attempt was hoisted up despite heavy pressure.
This drew three free throws with three seconds left that would were likely the game with that little time left.
Unfortunately for Gold-Burg, the first two missed and the last went in to cut the lead to 40-38.
A desperate foul on Prairie Valley’s Carmen forced free throws with less than a second left that just added to the Lady Bulldogs total as they won 41-38.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Forestburg Boys Interview

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Interview with Forestburg basketball players Talan Jones (left) and Kyler Willett following their bi-district playoff win against Newcastle on Feb. 20, 2024.
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Nocona Boys Interview

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Interview with Nocona basketball players Brady McCasland (left) and Conley Kleinhans following their bi-district playoff win against Haskell on Feb. 19, 2024.
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Saint Jo beats Bellevue in play-in game for 3rd place

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Devin Stewart scored 22 points for Saint Jo and helped the Panthers beat Bellevue on Friday night.

The Saint Jo Panthers were able to bounce back and beat Bellevue on Friday night in Bowie to earn the third seed in district play.
The Panthers won 69-51 against a hot Eagles team coming into the game.
Bellevue had won the last four district games heading into the game, including a dominant win against Saint Jo just the previous week.
The Eagles comeback win against second seed Forestburg earlier in the week clutched at least a playoff spot, with a play-in game against the Panthers for the third seed.
The first quarter was competitive as Bellevue led 15-12 as the Eagles had five different players score at least one point.
The Panthers answered back in the second quarter, scoring 22 points as the team got a big lift from Devin Stewart who scored nine points during that period.
Bellevue kept up, scoring 16 points even as it fell behind a little bit.
Saint Jo led 35-31 at halftime.
The Panthers defense stepped up in the third quarter, limiting the Eagles to only one basket and some free throw attempts as Bellevue scored seven points.
Saint Jo got a big boost from Barrett Johnson, who scored 10 of his team’s 14 points as the Panthers lead extended.
Saint Jo led 49-38 heading into the final period.
While the Eagles scored a bit better in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points, it was not enough to keep up with the Panthers. Saint Jo went 12-16 from the free throw line in the final period alone, which helped the team score 20 points and pull further ahead.
The Panthers won 69-51.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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