The Covenant Academy Lady Lions came out and played an aggressive offense and a ferocious defense against the Boyd Christian Lady Broncos on Friday night. For three quarters, the Lady Lions kept it close and stayed on the attack.
The Lady Lions got into foul trouble late in the game and after two key players for Covenant went to the bench, Boyd galloped full speed ahead for a 53-41 win.
Lady Bronco Mackinzie Pistole led all scorers with a game-high 17 points. Pistole got it done deep in the post on offense. She also got it done from the free-throw line. She connected on 9-of-10 foul shots after she drew contact inside.
Boyd led 25-24 at the half and both teams came out in the second half sluggish. Each team had trouble finding their range in the third.
Boyd did slightly better on the offensive end. Rhiannon Hoover continued to work the ball across midcourt to Stephanie Mullins. The duo fed Pistole inside and the defense collapsed. Pistole was limited to one basket in the third and just two free throws. She hit both.
Mullins was right behind her with a basket and she hit 1-of-2 from the free-throw line. Outside of those two, Hoover connected once for her last two points of the night.
Covenant kept pace on the defensive end while the offense started to lose it intensity. Chloe Hillis kept the Lady Lions in the game when she knocked down a pair of shots. Covenant trailed 34-28 after three quarters.
In the final quarter the Lady Lions were tired and committed several mistakes. For Covenant, Hillis was called for her fifth foul.
With one key player on the bench, just minutes later Katherine Shelton was whistled for her fifth. Down two players, the Lady Lions fell off the pace and Boyd started to extend its lead.
Mullins had the hot hand for Boyd in the fourth. She pulled the trigger and made a 3-pointer.
Pistole underneath was unstoppable and the Lady Lion defense had no answer. She added a pair of shots in the paint and connected on 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Morgan Young also buried a pair of free throws before time expired.
It was all Boyd in the fourth as the Lady Broncos narrowly escaped with a 53-41 win.
Early on in the first half it was an all-out sprint and the Lady Lions stayed right with the Lady Broncos. The Covenant defense was fierce in the first half and they gave up nothing easy inside. Hoover shot from behind the 3-point line was the only open shot from the floor that dropped for Boyd.
The other eight points were made at the free-throw line by multiple Boyd shooters. Morgan DeWeese and Hoover were perfect on their attempts.
Lady Lion Emma Grace Madewell showed her range after she stepped back and fired and hit her mark twice in the first quarter. Naina Patel and Hillis each got an open look at the basket and connected.
After an intense and physical first quarter the score was locked at 11-11.
The second quarter was a mirror image of the first. Neither team budged from its original game plan.
LADY BRONCO SCORING – Mackinzie Pistole 17, Stephanie Mullins 12, Rhiannon Hoover 11, Morgan DeWeese 5, Erin Cantrell 3, Emma Rhoton 3, Morgan Young 2
LADY LION SCORING – Chloe Hillis 13, Kerri Berenguer 9, Emma Grace Madewell 9, Naina Patel 7, Hannah Griffin 2, Katherine Shelton 1