The Howe Lady Bulldogs avoided what could have been a trap game as they hammered the Tom Bean Lady Cats 60-37 at home on Jan. 24.
The win enabled Howe to hold on to its share of the District 11-2A lead. Pottsboro and Bells also won, keeping the three schools deadlocked at the top of the league. Their wins also assured all three of playoff berths.
Riley Harvey broke out of her three-game mini-slump in a big way with a 19 point, 11 rebound performance as Howe improved to 12-10 overall and 9-2 in district play.
Alissa Smith added 14 points and six rebounds and senior Makenzie Duffee chipped in nine points.
After a road trip to Whitesboro, the Lady Bulldogs wrap up the home portion of the regular season with a senior night game on Friday against Callisburg.
Tom Bean 14 12 8 13 — 37
Howe 15 18 16 11 — 60
Howe: Riley Harvey 19, Alissa Smith 14, Makenzie Duffee 9, Emily Sanders 7,Morgan Carney 5, Jessi Akins 2, Holly Hawkins 2, Darci Foster 2.
Howe 62, Whitesboro 47
The Howe Lady Bulldogs got a career-high 33 points from sophomore wing Riley Harvey on their way to a 62-47 win over Whitesboro on Jan. 28. She added eight rebounds and six steals in her night’s work.
The win keeps Howe in a three-way tie with Pottsboro and Bells for the District 11-2A lead.
Bells travels to Pottsboro on Friday night to break up a part of that deadlock and after hosting Callisburg on Friday, Howe will travel to Bells on Tuesday to close out the regular season.
The Lady Bulldogs got off to a torrid start in this road contest as Harvey, who scored in every quarter, was on fire early.
After a Makenzie Duffee 3-pointer opened the festivities, Harvey scored three straight buckets to key a 9-2 run. Her steal and basket and one by Alissa Smith pushed the lead to 10 before a 3-pointer by Smith forced a Whitesboro timeout.
A steal by Smith coming out of that break, followed by her dish to Aurian James for a basket and another Harvey score made it a 21-9 game.
Whitesboro was getting behind the Howe defense in the early going, and a 3-pointer by Ashley Cooper, a deuce by Cooper and a basket by Terilyn Bufkin helped fuel a 6-0 run by the Lady Cats. A late bucket by Cooper made it a 21-15 game at the end of the first quarter.
Holly Hawkins put back an offensive rebound to open the second period scoring and after a steal and basket by Harvey, the Lady Bulldogs were off and running.
The problem was, Whitesboro was doing some running as well.
Alexus Vanlandingham dropped in a 3-pointer, then scored a pair of baskets on easy drives to the iron. After a Howe timeout, a Whitesboro basket tied the contest at 29-all, getting the home stands excited.
Harvey dampened some of ferver as her she made a basket then two free throws. Harvey’s play plus a basket by Christina Counts sent the teams to the break with Howe up, 35-31.
Whitesboro got the possession to start the second half and Smith got the steal to take it away. The sophomore guard outran the defense for a layup and a 6-point edge. Harvey scored on an in-bounding play beneath the Howe basket, about the three millionth time they pull that off, and after the Lady Cats had got back to within three, is was all over them.
Smith rebounded a miss at the offensive end and dropped a dime to Hawkins in the paint for a score and Harvey scored six more, the last coming on a mid-court steal that pushed the lead back to ten.
With just under two minutes left in the game, Harvey went to the bench for her only break of the game and Howe went on to the 15-point win.
Some nice Howe folks in the stands wanted to know if I was going to comment on the officiating in this one, so here goes. Ahem: a recently retired NCAA referee named Ted Valentine said in a ESPN interview, and I paraphrase, “If you call a game and you go unnoticed, that’s a good night’s work.”
One of the referees in this one definitely wanted to be noticed. Not a good thing.
Howe 21 14 15 14 — 64
Whitesboro 15 16 8 8 — 47
Howe(13-10)(10-2) Riley Harvey 33, Alissa Smith 13, Holly Hawkins 6, Makenzie Duffee 5, Aurian James 3, Christina Counts 2, Morgan Carney 1, Jessi Akins 1