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Lady Bulldogs Clinch Share of First Place

Leader Photo by Michelle Carney  Makenzie Duffee
Leader Photo by Michelle Carney Makenzie Duffee
Leader Photo by Michelle Carney  Howe coach Derek Lands gets his troops fired up. He earned his 300th career victory in Bells on Tuesday.
Leader Photo by Michelle Carney Howe coach Derek Lands gets his troops fired up. He earned his 300th career victory in Bells on Tuesday.

The Howe Lady Bulldogs accomplished two feats in Bells on Feb. 4. They beat the Lady Panthers to take a share of the District 11-2A title and gave coach Derek Lands victory number 300.

The good fortune continued when Howe won a coin flip with Pottsboro for the number one seed from the district; the Lady Bulldogs will meet Leonard in bi-district play.

For the first 14 minutes of the contest, it looked like both teams were having difficulties in maintaining focus.

That’s the PC way of saying, play was pretty sloppy.

The two teams were tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter and for the first six minutes of the second, neither side could get any offensive flow going.

With just over two minutes left in the first half, the lights went on at the Lady Bulldog end. Makenzie Duffee nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, Riley Harvey got a steal and layup and Alissa Smith dropped in a floater to key a 6-0 run for Howe.

After Katie Branam had scored for Bells, and with time running down in the period, Darci Foster put up a shot from just past mid-court and her 3-pointer went in at the buzzer to give Howe a 25-19 lead at the break.

Howe picked up the pace in the third as Smith and Duffee sent in 3-point shots and Foster killed it with a pair of 3-pointers to build the Howe lead to 44-21 after three.

Holly Hawkins and Harvey scored early in the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 26-points and allowing Lands to turn the game over to the bench for some well-deserved minutes.

Duffee finished with 15 points and Harvey had 13 points and five steals.

Howe 13 12 19 13 — 57

Bells 13 6 2 19 — 40

Howe (15-10)(12-2) Makenzie Duffee 15, Riley Harvey 13, Darci Foster 9, Alissa Smith 7,Holly Hawkins 4, Aurian James 3, Christina Counts 2, Morgan Carney 2,Emily Sanders 2

Howe 81, Callisburg 42

The Howe Lady Bulldogs had their highest scoring quarter of the season on Jan. 31 as they blasted Callisburg 81-42 in a senior night win.

The home crowd paid its respects to the five seniors on this Lady Bulldog team and witnessed a 29-point third quarter landslide in Howe’s 11th district win of the season.

The logjam atop the District 11-2A girls’ basketball standings was eased a bit on this night as Pottsboro beat Bells to knock the Lady Panthers out of a share of the league lead. Pottsboro remained in a first-place tie with Howe with just one regular season game remaining.

Howe, Pottsboro and Bells have locked up playoff spots from the district and Whitesboro took a big step towards nailing down the fourth spot with its second win of the season over Whitewright.

No big surprise, but Riley Harvey led a scoring list that was almost as long as a Justin Bieber rap sheet. Harvey finished with 20 points to go along with six rebounds, four steals and three blocks in the blowout.

Sophomore guard Darci Foster, coming off of a DNP (that’s, did-not-play, not a HIPAA violation) at Whitesboro due to the flu, rebounded nicely with 16 points and three steals.

Makenzie Duffee joined the double-digit scoring parade with 13 points.

Seniors Jessi Akins, Morgan Carney, Aurian James, Rachel White and Duffee played their last basketball game on the home court and got to celebrate the win.

Callisburg 13 3 14 12 — 42

Howe 20 21 29 11 — 81

Howe (14-10)(11-2) Riley Harvey 20, Darci Foster 16, Makenzie Duffee 13, Alissa Smith 6, Holly Hawkins 5, Aurian James 4, Emily Sanders 3, Rachel White 3, Kendall Nelms 3, Morgan Carney 2.

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