Dudley Girls Victorious Over Conference Foe Page
The Page Pirates’ girls took on a strong Dudley Lady Panthers team on Thursday night missing one of their starters—point guard Roxanne Pfenning. The Pirates battled, especially in the second half, but the Lady Panthers proved to be too much for them to surmount.
During the opening eight minutes, the teams traded baskets and the game remained close. Leading the scoring for the Lady Panthers in the first quarter was Lena Barghan, who had seven points, and Page’s leading scorer senior captain Emily Casper, who had five points. At the end of the first quarter Page trailed 13-11.
The second quarter proved lopsided. The Pirates only made two shots—a three pointer from Emily Casper and a 10-footer from Bailey Kargo with .55 seconds left in the first half.
Dudley capitalized on the Pirates’ inability to score in the second quarter and went on an 11-0 run that lasted more than four minutes. The run was partially due to a half-court press that Dudley began halfway through the quarter. At the end of the second quarter, the Panthers were ahead by a score of 26-16.
The third quarter was much like the first, with teams trading baskets, although the Panthers started to get hot from behind the arc. They made three of their three point attempts. At the end of the third, the Lady Panthers led 39-26.
The first three baskets of the final quarter were all three-pointers by Page. Two came from Emily Casper, and one from her sister, Ava Casper. The three-point shooting of the Casper girls put their team within reach of a win. With two minutes remaining, the Panthers began a full-court press and the Pirates, trailing, had to start fouling to stay close in the game. However, they weren’t able to regain the momentum they had at the beginning of the quarter and lost by a score of 51-40.
“We put ourselves in a deficit in the first half, being down by ten points,” Page coach Debbie Jones said postgame. “(Dudley’s Kelena Morris) inside hurt us, but I thought that Chakaylyn Patterson did a good job of limiting (Morris’) touches in the second half. Then they hit a few threes right there in the middle. When we took one threat away, they hit the threes.”
Dudley coach Frank McNeil praised his team’s stamina in hanging on for the win.
“When we went in for halftime, I told my team, we’re up by 10 points, but (Page) is going to make a run,” McNeil said. “Good teams make runs, and we need to be prepared for their run and respond accordingly. We shot 47% from the field, and only missed five free throws, which have been our Achilles heel. I thought we played hard and remained aggressive. I called the last timeout and told them, ‘If you remain aggressive, good things will happen.’ ”
Emily Casper- 14
Ava Casper- 9
Bailey Kargo- 6
Jillian Heard- 5
Chakaylyn Patterson- 1
Teara Johnson- 15
Kiara Harrison- 15
Kelena Morris- 8
Victoria Harrison- 5
Jewel Miller- 3
Kierra Beasley- 2
Lena Barghen- 2
Overton Returns and Page Boys Beat Dudley In Dramatic Fashion
Nowadays the Page Pirates look like a completely different team with the addition of one key player: Diondre Overton. Overton, absent for a couple of games because of an official visit to Clemson where he signed a football scholarship, sailed the Pirates’ ship onto the campus of Dudley High School on a mission, a mission to leave with its flags sailing high, victorious over its conference foes. The Pirates did just that with the help of Overton and several young players stepping up and playing hard under pressure.
Things didn’t start well for the Pirates, however. Brion Seagraves hit two three- pointers and Hendon Hooker added a lay in to give Dudley an early 8-0 lead. Page coach Matt Harder called a timeout to try to gain control of his players. Following Harder’s timeout, Tylan Tatum scored Page’s first basket of the night. Dudley was on a roll, though, and the Panthers ended the first quarter with an at-the-buzzer three pointer, made from just inside half-court by Aaron Thomas, giving the Panthers a 24-13 lead.
The Panthers continued their fast-paced, exciting play into the second quarter. They led by 14 points with four minutes left in the first half.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Dudley went on a four-minute scoring drought that saw Page score 11 points, and at halftime, the Panthers’ lead had been cut to one. The score at the half was 37-36 in favor of Dudley.
The senior leadership of Diondre Overton really shone through during those four minutes. “I feltl like I needed to step up and motivate the team since I have experience,” a humble Overton said postgame.
Hendon Hooker was fouled attempting a shot just 31 seconds into the second half and made both free throws, giving his team a three-point lead. The Panthers wouldn’t lead again until the second minute of the fourth quarter. Dudley again went on a scoring drought, this one for three minutes, allowing the Pirates to score six points. The Pirates held onto the lead to finish off the third quarter. The score was 45-43.
It was an intense last eight minutes. The fourth quarter had five lead changes, with the game tied three times. It wasn’t until the final two minutes when the Panthers were forced to foul to stop the clock that the Pirates really took the lead that they would keep until the end of the game.
The win was huge for the Pirates who were coming off a double overtime loss to Smith last Friday night, and then a loss to Reagan on Saturday afternoon.
“We had a couple tough breaks last weekend,” Page head coach Matt Harder said. “But at the same time, the kids never gave up in those games. They fought like crazy, and at the end of the day, if you have a group of kids that really buy in, and lay everything out there, good things are eventually going to happen.”
Good things did happen for the Pirates Thursday night. They played together as a unit and looked like a solid basketball team, a team that can compete with the best if they continue to play like they did against players as determined and talented as Dudley.
Dudley coach Brian Seagraves is happy his team is still on top in the conference.
“Defense killed us,” Seagraves said. “I thought the first half we played pretty good. We were up two at half. I thought we would come back from the half and play harder and play better defense, but obviously it turned around on us. We’re still number one in the conference, so that helps.”
Dudley’s record is (10-4/4-1), and the Pirates record improved to (6-9/2-2) with the victory.
Diondre Overton- 21
Tylan Tatum- 15
Brandon Talton- 9
Elijah Short- 7
Jordan Smith- 7
Matt Audilet- 6
Jahlen King- 5
Bryant McGowan- 1
Hendon Hooker- 15
Brion Seagraves- 15
Brandon Lamberth- 12
Josh Hopkins- 9
Aaron Thomas- 3
Dematus Gilmore- 2