Bruceton right foe for ailing Gleason
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
If anyone was in need of a breather, it was the Gleason girls’ basketball program.
An overmatched Bruceton squad truly gave the Lady Bulldogs a chance to exhale.
With head coach Joel Ayers watching from a seat in the endzone while recovering from a second bout of diverticulitis and his wife and assistant coach Ashley — more than seventh months pregnant — filling in on the bench, Gleason routed the visiting Lady Tigers 64-21 Friday night.
The win was the seventh straight for the Lady Bulldogs (18-4, 12-1), who dominated from the opening tip to stay atop the District 13A standings heading into a week in which they will play their closest pursuers, Dresden and Huntingdon.
Briana Jones scored 17 points, Calay Smith 11 and Emily Bell 10 as Gleason scored the game’s first 13 points while overwhelming Bruceton with its fullcourt pressure.
“Any time you can have a game with some breathing room at this juncture of the season, it’s refreshing,” Ashley Ayers said afterward. “It’s been chaotic the last several days, but the girls have handled it well, I think. Coach (Chris) Leo stepped in while we were out and really did a good job and the girls responded to him.
“Hopefully, Joel’s going to be around some... it might be sitting in a chair at the end of the court ... and I hope I’m going to be around now, too. I think that’ll give the girls a sense of comfort and normalcy.”
Ashley said she expected to deliver her second child in mid-March.
The Gleason boys, meanwhile, were on the opposite end of a blowout, losing 69-37.
The Bulldogs committed a whopping 31 turnovers to lose for the 17th time in 19 games overall and fall to 2-11 in district play.
Alex Hahn scored a game-high 18 points for Gleason, which never was closer than 10 points after Chris Sumner had a field goal just before halftime.
Tonight’s game vs. Weakley County cousin Dresden will be played on the Lions’ homecourt, while the Bulldog teams will host Huntingdon Friday.
Gleason 64, B’ton 21 (G)
The Lady Bulldogs forced nearly a dozen first-quarter turnovers, creating numerous opportunities for themselves on the offensive end.
Already comfortably up 21-7 at the opening period horn, Gleason expanded its lead on 3-pointers by Jones and Bell before the stanza was half over. Ayers substituted freely late in the half that ended with the host team up 38-11.
Bell, Smith, Jaclyn Montgomery, and eighth-grader Kelsey Borneman all connected from beyond the arc in the third quarter as the margin reached the magical 35-point mercy-rule mark late in the frame.
Both teams used reserves extensively while the clock ran continuously in the final period.
“It was good to see us come out business-like and play hard from the start,” Ayers added. “It’s who we are. We’re Gleason, and that’s the way we’re supposed to play and how people expect us to play — no matter who the opponent is.
“The next two games are obviously huge and will determine where we’re seeded in the district tournament. Dresden is always a lot tougher on their homecourt, and Huntingdon is the team that gave us our one loss in the district. I expect them both to be outstanding games.”
B’ton 69, Gleason 37 (B)
A variety of floor mistakes doomed the Bulldogs from start to finish.
Hahn had 10 of his points in the first quarter — including a pair of 3s — but Gleason still was a double-digit hole before the period ended.
Trezedon Tharp’s triple just before the halftime horn sent Bruceton to the dressing room with a 33-20 lead.
The visitors quickly buried the ’Dawgs in the third period, scoring regularly off turnovers and offensive rebounds.
Austin Perry’s bucket was Gleason’s only field goal for the first seven minutes of the frame until Hahn hit a trey at the 56-second mark of the third stanza.
By then, it was already 54-26 as the Tigers had scored 21 of 24 points in the quarter.
Paul Ulderich had 12 points to pace three Bruceton players in double figures. Published in The WCP 1.29.13