LaPoynor ends season for young Lady Owls

By JOSEPH ELERSON, News-Telegram Sports Writer

Feb. 17, 2008 - FRUITVALE - A return trip to the Class A state playoffs was bittersweet for the Yantis Lady Owls Friday night against the LaPoynor Lady Flyers in a 69-41 area round loss at Fruitvale High School.

"I was proud of the way the girls fought tonight," said Yantis coach Jennifer Payne. "We are a young team, and we have everyone coming back next year so we will be ready."

Both teams combined for 66 turnovers (each had 33) and 32 fouls as LaPoynor dominated in all of the statistical categories. LaPoynor outrebounded Yantis 55-32, with a 20-11 advantage on the offensive glass, had more steals (19-13) and more assists (11-3).

The Lady Owls (13-13) were led in scoring by Amanda Collins with a game-high 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting to go along with seven steals, five rebounds and one assist. Teammate Shelby Allen added eight points, two steals and one rebound.

Yantis had a tough time figuring out the trapping defense of the Lady Flyers as they committed nine turnovers in the first quarter, but only trailed by five (17-12) heading into the second period.

LaPoynor (24-9) jumped out to a 9-4 lead early on three buckets by Kaela Spencer and a free throw by Cami Penney before Yantis stormed back to tie the game with 2:40 remaining. During the run, Collins was involved in all three baskets as she had a steal and an outlet pass to Rachel Spurgeon, a steal and layup of her own and then hit the front end of two free throws.

In the second quarter, the Lady Flyers made sure the lead never reached single digits as Yantis battled to within 10 points at 32-22 with 20 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer from Collins off an assist from Amanda McKinney. The Lady Owls could not find their range from behind the arc as they went 4-of-22 (18.2 percent), compared to 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) for the Lady Flyers.

Jaime Manis gave LaPoynor its biggest lead of the first half at 32-16 with 2:10 remaining and finished with eight points, three steals, two rebounds and one assist.

Spencer scored the first five points for the Lady Flyers in the third on a 3-pointer and a steal for a 39-22 lead with 5:45 remaining and finished with 16 points. She also had three rebounds, three steals and two assists.

LaPoynor continued to turn up the defensive pressure in the third quarter as Yantis turned the ball over on its first four trips down the floor and had 10 turnovers as LHS held a 47-31 lead heading into the final period.

Yantis finished the game shooting 12-of-51 (23.5 percent) from the field, compared to 29-of-65 (44.6 percent) for the Lady Flyers. The Lady Owls shot 14 more free throws than LaPoynor as they went 13-of-28, compared to 6-of-14 for LaPoynor.

The Lady Owls finished as the District 18-A champions, while LaPoynor advances to face the winner of the James Bowie-Mount Enterprise game on Monday or Tuesday night.

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