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Lady Rabbits fall in district opener to Holliday

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The Bowie Lady Rabbits started district on Friday with their toughest game of the season taking on state-ranked Holliday.
The Lady Eagles won 71-15, showing why they are so highly ranked and one of the top teams in the area regardless of classification.
The Lady Rabbits came into the game knowing the challenge would tough.
Holliday was going to be a favorite to win the district title coming into this season with Nocona’s exit after three straight second place finishes. However, the Lady Eagles became state title contenders when the best player in the Wichita Falls area, Iowa State commit Jalynn Bristow, moved to the district from Rider for her senior year.
Bowie is not a tall team for 3A, but have made up for it with tenacity and physical play. However, that can sometimes only take you so far when a team is so outsized and the other team knows how to use it to its advantage.
It was clear to see from the opening tip how physically overmatched the Lady Rabbits were across the board, outsized at almost every position.
Bowie tried to limit Bristow, who is listed at 6 foot 3 inches, from getting the ball close around the basket by using a box-and-one defense, putting a defender in tight man coverage on her while everyone else is playing a 2-2 zone with an emphasis on trying to wall off the paint.
Lady Rabbit Coach Matthew Miller was fine letting Holliday shoot from the perimeter.
It was a good strategy as the Lady Eagles only made three 3-pointers in the game, but the lack of execution from Bowie meant its defensive strategy seemed to affect Holliday little.
The Lady Eagles scored however they wanted, mostly inside the 3-point arc, and despite the Lady Rabbits best efforts, got the ball to Bristow whenever they wanted and played off of that.
Holliday scored 21 points in the first two quarters to build a big lead, but that was mostly because Bowie could not buy a basket.
The Lady Eagles came out in a full-court trapping zone style to try and use their length to bother the Lady Rabbits from initiating offense. Bowie did a good job of not committing many turnovers getting the ball up the court to set up its half court offense.
In fact, some the Lady Rabbits most successful offense came from breaking the press and getting the ball to Kayleigh Crow ahead of the defense to finish at the rim. She led the team with six points.
Unfortunately, when set up in the half court is when the length seemed to bother Bowie players as passes were tipped or misjudged due to Holliday’s players being much bigger than what they are used to.
That height also seemed to dissuade drives to the basket as possessions seemed to end when someone decided they had enough room to chuck a 3-point shot in the hole of the zone. Unfortunately, only one went in all game for the Lady Rabbits from Ziba Robbins, who finished with the second most points on the team with five.
Despite the height differential, Bowie did not get abused rebounding the basketball on either side outside of a few sequences. To be honest Holliday did not miss that much so its chances to chase offensive rebounds were limited, but the Lady Rabbits battled well in that area outside of some balls that bounced right for only the tallest players on the court.

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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