Register staff report
The Lady Pirates got an outstanding defensive performance and just enough offense to knock off an 11th Region rival Wednesday at home.
Hannah Haycraft had 19 points and 17 rebounds as Berea Community overcame a slow start to defeat Sayre (7-5), 41-37. Victoria Sexton added nine points and three assists as the Lady Pirates (10-4) extended their winning streak to three games.
The win was the 600th all-time victory for the Berea Community girls basketball program.
“Our defense was what won us the game,” Berea coach Jerry Bingham said.
The Lady Pirates shot just 28 percent from the field, including a two-of-11 performance from three-point range, but still limited Sayre to 32 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers.
Sophomore center Gabby Bowie came into the game averaging almost 18 points a game, but behind the defense of Haycraft, along with some help from Sexton and Alex Horn, she was limited to just eight points and 14 rebounds.
“She played out of her mind,” Bingham said of Haycraft. “That’s the best I think I have ever seen her play. She did a great job.”
Sayre junior guard Molly Manella had 16 points in the first half, but was limited to just five points in the second half because of the defensive pressure of Sexton.
The Lady Spartans scored seven of the first nine points of the game and had a 13-5 lead after the first quarter. Berea battled back and got within a point late in the second quarter (20-19), before going into halftime trailing 22-19.
Berea took its first lead at 27-26 on a Sizemore basket with 2:54 left in the third and took a 30-29 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Pirates opened the final period on a 7-0 run, with Haycraft providing all the scoring — three baskets and a free throw. Berea was in control the rest of the way.
Ashley Sizemore had five points, Sexton finished with four points, Chase Fain had two points and eight rebounds and Alex Horn had two points.
Berea is set to return to action Friday at home against district rival Madison Southern.