By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – It was bound to happen. After winning back-to-back games by a total of two points – against quality opponents – the Grapeland Sandiettes were flying high. Unfortunately, their third game was against a team that knows a thing or two about flying.
The La Poyner Lady Flyers landed in the Queen City of the Sand Flats on Friday, Nov. 11 and doubled up the Sandiettes in the second half to take off with a 53-32 win and hand Grapeland its first loss of the season.
La Poyner was coming off a trip to last year’s the 2015-2016 Class 2A Final Four where they lost to the eventual State Champion Weimar Lady Cats by three. La Poyner brought back three of the starting five from last year’s state semi-finals run and while that may have intimidated some teams, the young Sandiettes didn’t seem to be fazed.
In the first quarter, Grapeland managed to grab a one point lead as KeKe Harris dropped in seven with a three-ball and a pair of two pointers. Hannah Chipman added two and Tatiyanna Bowie converted one of two from the line to give the Sandiettes a 10-9 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
La Poyner was led by Hannah Massey with five points while Te’Aire Hambrick and Jas Mitchell both had two.
As the second quarter got underway, the Lady Flyers were able to take the lead and moved ahead by five by the time the horn sounded to end the first half. The five point halftime deficit, however, was a drastic improvement from the last time the Lady Flyers and Sandiettes met – a 2015-2016 Bi-District playoff game La Poyner won by 29 points.
In Friday’s contest, the Lady Flyers were paced by Hambrick’s four second quarter points and a three from Hannah Massey. Mitchell, Hailey Massey and Casey Partenan all scored two to give La Poyner a 22-17 lead after the second quarter.
Grapeland saw Ragan Bowie hit a three for the Sandiettes in the second period while Chipman and Harris both dropped in two to account for the Grapeland points.
Following the break, the Lady Flyers doubled up the Sandiettes during third quarter action. Harris scored four while T. Bowie and Chipman both made one of two from the line.
La Poyner’s points were split between Mitchell with six, Hannah Massey with four and Hambrick with two. The 12-6 third quarter La Poyner scoring advantage gave the Lady Flyers a 34 – 23 advantage they would never relinquish.
The 11 point deficit was simply too much for the Sandiettes to overcome as the Lady Flyers poured it on in the final eight minutes with 19 points. Mitchell tallied five, Hannah Massey had four and Toni McDonald added three. Hailey Massey, Hambrick and Partenan all had two. Kiana Eldridge made one of two from the charity stripe to close out the scoring for La Poyner.
The Sandiettes were led by Chipman with five points in the fourth quarter while both R. Bowie and T. Bowie added two apiece to make the final score 53-32 in favor of La Poyner.
The Lady Flyers were led by Hannah Massey with a game high 16 points. Jas Mitchell was right behind her with 15 points and Te’Aire Hambrick went for 10. Hailey Massey and Casey Partenan both had four points in the game. Toni McDonald had three and Kiana Eldridge made one.
Grapeland was led by KeKe Harris with 13 and Hannah Chipman dropped in 10. Ragan Bowie added five while Tatiyanna Bowie had three to close out the Sandiette scoring.
Grapeland hosted the Henderson Lady Lions on Tuesday, Nov. 15 but as of press time, the score was unavailable.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.