EPC girls sweep P-W in non-conference games
Tribune Sports Staff
In a game that appeared more like an episode of WWE's Monday Night Raw, it was two free throws by EPC guard Holly Hinton with 4.6 seconds left in the game that sealed a 63-59 victory over Palestine-Wheatley Monday night in senior girls basketball action.
In the game, played at Warrior Gym in Lepanto, the game featured 16 lead changes, just in the second half alone, along with the ejection of Palestine-Wheatley guard Cara Lansford and a technical on Palestine-Wheatley Head Coach Lannie Allen, both teams battled all night with the game coming down to the last second.
After a 12-8 EPC lead after one quarter, the Lady Warriors began to creep ahead of P-W late in the second quarter, going on a 9-4 run over a two-minute period, keyed by the play of EPC guards Jessica Ross and Sam King. The pair gave EPC a 26-19 lead with 2:47 left in the first half, keyed by the technical call on Allen. However, P-W fought back late in the first half and narrowed the EPC lead to five points (29-24) at halftime.
In the third quarter, P-W went on a 14-8 run to start the quarter and pushed the basketball inside on the EPC defense. A 30-24 EPC lead with 7:49 left in the third quarter quickly turned into a 43-40 P-W lead late in the third quarter. However, free throws by EPC guard Lauren Turner with 0.2 seconds left in the third quarter gave EPC a 44-43 lead after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, the lead see-sawed back and forth as both teams seemed tentative about their offenses, yet played physical on defense. P-W tied the game at 48 all with 5:26 left to play and took the lead 50-48 on the next play down the court, as P-W went inside on the EPC defense. However, the momentum changed completely with 4:34 left to play, as the officials assessed a first technical foul on P-W guard Cara Lansford. From there, EPC began to pull ahead yet saw P-W tie the game at 53 all on a three-pointer by guard Kesha Stovall. The physical play inside forced both teams into the bonus in the fourth quarter and the next few minutes of the game turned into a free-throw shooting contest as the lead changed four times in a 40-second time frame. EPC took the lead for good with 1:22 left to play, as Lansford received her second technical foul for allegedly attempting to punch an EPC player while going for the basketball in a tie-up. The officials ejected Lansford from the game and gave EPC four free throws, two from the foul call and two from the technical foul. The Lady Warriors hit three of the four foul shots and led 59-57. However, P-W fought back and tied the game on a lay-up by forward Tunisha Wynne. On the next play, EPC was fouled and guard Sam King went to the line with 22.1 seconds left. King hit both free throws, giving EPC the lead. The win was sealed with 4.6 seconds left as Holly Hinton hit two free throws.
EPC was led in scoring by three players, who scored in double figures. Sam King led EPC with 17 points, while Sade Madden and Holly Hinton added 15 and 11 points respectively. P-W was led in scoring by Tunisha Wynne, who scored 14 points. EPC Head Girls Coach Bobby Lewallen told the Tri-City Tribune that while the game went back and forth in the second half, he wanted his team into play the third quarter like the first quarter, when his team picked up the lead. Lewallen credited guard Sam King with coming off the bench and his team hitting clutch free throws at the end to helping to improve EPC's record to 2-1 on the year.
EPC returns to action this week, with a game Wednesday night in the first round of the Gerald Jennings Holiday Tournament in Manila. EPC faces Riverside in the first round Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m. The winner of the game faces the winner of the BIC/CRA/Armorel game Thursday night at 8:55 p.m.
EPC also won the junior girls game 50-32. The Jr. Warriors led throughout the game, leading 13-3 after one quarter, 26-7 at halftime and 45-18 after three quarters. Cara Pilgrim led EPC with 14 points, while Jordan Madden added 13 points for EPC. The Jr. Warriors also participate in the Gerald Jennings Holiday Tournament this week, facing number seven seed Armorel Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. With a win, the number two seed EPC will face either three-seed Marked Tree or six-seed Paragould Thursday at 5:00 p.m. The championship games for both junior and senior girls will be Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. at Manila.