The Lady Rattlers and Rattlers got an early look at 2017 last week in the Bill Frye Classic in Masnfield as they faced teams they were scheduled to see in the first 10 days of the new year.
The Lady Rattlers (9-6) beat Mulberry in the opening round of the tournament on Wednesday but lost a semifinal matchup with Hackett Thursday night. The Rattlers (8-4) lost to Mulberry on Wednesday.
Both teams were slated to visit Hackett last night (Tuesday) and travel to Mulberry next Tuesday.
(Due to early print deadlines necessitated by the New Year’s Day holiday, the Magazine versus Booneville boys story will appear in print next week. A story has been uploaded to our website www.boonevilledemocrat.com.)
Lady Rattlers 52 Mulberry 23
A 3 by Kayln Bryan and a basket by Keaira Thomas pushed a Lady Rattler lead from 14-12 to 19-12 and prompted a Mulberry time out in the opening round of the Wednesday.
Out of the time out Krissie Nunley hit a 3 to make it 19-15. It was Nunley’s only points of the day and it was the last flicker of hope for Mulberry because the Lady Rattlers rattled off the next 10 points and finished the half on a 17-2 run to lead 36-17, on the way to a 52-23 win.
By halftime Thomas already had 12 and Bryan had 11. The third quarter saw the duo and Rachael Phillips, who had eight at the break, combine for all 13 points as the lead grew to 49-22. Phillips finished with 12 and eight rebounds, Bryan with 14, and Thomas with 18 and eight rebounds. Both Phillips and Thomas added four steals.
The three seniors were done, sitting out the final quarter which contained a sportsmanship running clock after a 3 by Lauren Ryan with 5:47 left. It was the only basket of the final quarter for either team.
The game had been tied at 2-2 after a Destiny Freeman basket matched one by Bryan but Magazine opened a 12-4 lead with 3:28 left in the first quarter on a bucket by Phillips, who finished with 12.
It was 14-8 after a Kelsey Krigbaum bucket but the Lady Yellow Jackets chipped away with a basket by Freeman before the quarter break and another after the break to make it 14-12.
Freeman had nine in the game but Mulberry was led by Amanda Jones with 10.
Mulberry 50 Rattlers 38
Playing without Matt Smith the Rattlers were sluggish, trailing most of the way.
The Rattlers took their first lead of the game on a basket by James Burr with 2:03 left in the first half but it stayed 21-20 several possessions until Tyler Rice hit a 3 to give Mulberry the lead at the half, 23-21.
The Yellow Jackets saw the Rattlers tie the game at the 1:04 mark of the third quarter on a nifty assist from Jan Halek to Burr.
Magazine made it a 6-0 run to end the quarter when Randon Baumgartner scored 19 seconds before the quarter break, and 8-0 when Burr scored with 7:37 to go to make it 31-27.
Then it went south. Mulberry scored the next 15 points of the game, taking advantage of Magazine turnovers — there were seven in the quarter — and defensive blunders that left Trevor Martin free twice for easy baskets. There was also a lane violation that took away a missed one-and-one that ended up letting Martin score one of his game-high 21 points.
Otherwise the Yellow Jackets would leave the Rattlers in it, however, as Martin missed another one-and-one front end and Randon Baumgartner hit a 3 and two free throws to cut the deficit to 43-37.
Mulberry ran the miss streak at the line to eight but turnovers and poor shot selection on the Rattler end led to fouls and the Yellow Jackets reversing course by hitting 5-of-6 free throws over the final 23.1 seconds to punctuate the win.
Hackett 41 Lady Rattlers 32
The Lady Rattlers fell behind by double digits in the first quarter and though they made runs at the Lady Hornets they were never able to close the gap.
It was 16-6 after a quarter as Madison Bailey had already scored seven for the Lady Hornets and all five Hackett starters had scored. Bailey added three more free throws in the second quarter and it was still a 10 point game at 24-14.
Free throws, however, were not a strong suit for the Lady Hornets. They were a collective 3-of-9 in the third quarter while Magazine cut the deficit to 29-23.
Rachael Phillips, the most consistent player for the Lady Rattlers on the night, scored six fourth quarter points and finished with 12 points.
Sydney Bobbitt scored seven points for Hackett in the final quarter as well and also finished with 12, hitting all three field goals for Hackett and the Lady Hornets hit enough free throws, 6-of-16 in the quarter, to pull out the win.