Ashley girls get payback

Ashley’s Brittany Butts (left) battles for a loose ball with Seventy-First’s Ambryia Davis on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (Photo by Jason A. Frizzelle)

The Ashley girls basketball team got some early-season revenge Friday night.

The Screaming Eagles avenged last week's loss at Seventy-First with a come-from-behind 68-56 victory.

"We definitely weren't ready the first time," Ashley senior Felecity Havens said about the team's 78-49 defeat on Nov. 25. "Some girls didn't know what to expect, but it definitely wasn't Ashley basketball."

In the first meeting, the Falcons (3-1) pulled away in the second half by outscoring the Screaming Eagles (3-1) 51-15.

Seventy-First built a 10-point lead early in the third quarter Friday, but a 15-4 run fueled by solid defense gave Ashley a 41-40 lead. Jada Bacchus scored six of her 18 points during the run.

"The start of the third we gave up a quick basket right away, but we responded," Ashley coach Adrienne Gale said.

The lead was short-lived and the Falcons held a four-point lead going into the fourth quarter. That's when Havens stepped up and put the team on her back.

Havens hit a 3-pointer, scored a transition layup and buried another 3 in the first 1:04 of the final period to give the Screaming Eagles a 51-47 lead. Seventy-First got to within one point, but Ashley pulled away late with free throws and layups.

"I've been preaching to them and telling them that we don't want to just hang around and compete, we want to win," Gale said. "(Felecity's) start in the fourth quarter and our defense creating points was awesome."

Havens finished with a game-high 21 points. Sophia Neubauer added 13 points.


Seventy-First 73, Ashley 57

Seventy-First remained unbeaten, but got a challenge from the young Ashley squad.

In the first meeting last month, the Falcons (6-0) dominated from start to finish in a 95-59 lopsided win. Friday's contest was much more competitive.

"The first game I didn't call a timeout. I decided to just play and learn how to respond," Screaming Eagles coach David Rutledge said. "This whole year is about making statements in how we play.

"What I'm most proud of is Ryan Keller is dead tired from playing the entire game and in what we call our option zero, over the top, he scores on it dead tired at the end of the game. I'm proud of our kids still trapping with thirty seconds left, and that's how we want to play as a unit."

Ashley used a 13-0 run to take a 15-13 lead late in the first quarter, and the Screaming Eagles (2-3) kept it close until tiring in the fourth quarter.

Seventy-First built a 14-point third-quarter lead, but Ashley responded again with a 9-0 run to close the deficit to five.

The tempo of the game eventually wore Ashley down and the Falcons capitalized with some steals that resulted in baskets.

Junior Tyre Gathright had 16 points to lead the Eagles. Sophomore Keller added 14.