Frankston 59 Lovelady 53
By Will Johnson
CUSHING – The Lovelady Lady Lions traveled to Cushing last Friday to take on the Frankston Maidens in the opening round of the UIL 2020-2021 Basketball Playoffs.
Lovelady came into the game as the number two seed out of District 20-2A while Frankston was the number three seed from District 19-2A. The game was a back-and-forth affair as the Maidens jumped out to an early lead only to see the Lady Lions rally to capture the lead by halftime.
In the second half, however, Lovelady went cold from the field which allowed Frankston to reclaim the lead late in the third quarter and then hold on to pick up the 59-53 Bi-District win.
As the game got underway, the Maidens opened on a 9-0 run, forcing the Lady Lions to call a timeout at the 6:25 mark of the first quarter. After the TO, Macie LaRue broke the scoring drought for Lovelady as the Lady Lions began to battle back.
Trailing by five – with only seconds remaining in the period – Shyanne Pipkin brought the ball up court. As she neared the mid-court line she glanced up and saw time ticking away. Pipkin gathered herself and launched a shot from Nacogdoches which found nothing but the bottom of the net – cutting the Frankston lead to 17-15 – as time expired in the quarter.
LaRue led the Lady Lions scoring attack with six points in the first quarter while Pipkin had five. Kortney Bynum and Shelby Pugh split the other four points in the period.
Brianna Looney paced the Maidens with six points in the first while Abbie Ramsey had five. Kelsey Sexton and Teallie Tatum had two apiece while both Tia Billingsley and Ja’Shalyn Hatton made one of two from the charity stripe to close out the Frankston scoring in the first quarter.
The half-court shot from Pipkin seemed to inspire the Lovelady squad as Aaliyah Jones tied the game at 20 with 6:57 left in the first half. Thirty seconds later, the Lady Lions took their first lead of the game on a lay-up from LaRue. The momentum change seemed to rattle Frankston as Lovelady took a 34-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Jones dropped in five for the Lady Lions in the second quarter while Bynum and Pipkin both netted four. Three other Lovelady players – LaRue, Haley Davidson and Rajanae Polhamus – all had two apiece to close out the first half scoring.
Maggie Caveness led the way for the Maidens with three while Billingsley, Hatton and Kaylee Davis all had two apiece. Ramsey and Brianna Looney both chipped in one to round out the Frankston second quarter point production.
After the break, the Lady Lions shooting turned as cold as the weather outside. Bynum, Davidson, Jones and Polhamus all scored two apiece – but that was it as the Maidens seized a 44-42 lead after three periods were in the books.
Caveness and Hatton led Frankston with four points apiece in the third quarter while four other Frankston players all had two as the Maidens regained the lead by the end of the third quarter.
The final period of play saw the Lovelady shooting woes continue as they simply could not overcome the Frankston lead. Pipkin netted five and Jones had three in the fourth quarter while Davidson had two and LaRue chipped in one as the Lady Lions fell by a final score of 59-53.
On the game, Frankston was led in scoring by Ja’Shalyn Hatton with 13 points. Abbie Ramsey was also in double-figures with 10. Tia Billingsley and Brianna Looney both had nine while Maggie Caveness dropped in eight. Kaylee Davis and Kelsey Sexton had four apiece while Teallie Tatum closed out the Frankston scoring with two.
The Lady Lions were led by Shyanne Pipkin with a game-high 14 points and Macie LaRue with 11. Aaliyah Jones was also in double-figures with 10. Kortney Bynum and Haley Davidson both had six while Rajanae Polhamus had four and Shelby Pugh had a basket to account for Lovelady’s point production during the game.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]