The Richmond Register

Sports

February 14, 2014

H.S. BASKETBALL: Sexton scores 15 points and pulls down 19 rebounds in Berea's 51-49 victory

BEREA — The Berea Lady Pirates (11-12) broke a three game losing string with a big 51-49 win over Knox Central Tuesday on Senior Night.

After Emily Keyser tied the game at 49-49 with 2:08 to go, Miranda Montgomery and the Berea defense came up with a couple of big defensive stops, putting the Lady Pirates in position to win the game.

Montgomery stepped in front of a Knox County player and picked off a pass with 1:42 remaining.

She put the Lady Pirates in front for good with a basket with 1:14 remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Montgomery’s tight defense forced a bad pass out of bounds with 1:05 remaining.

Knox had one more chance to pull out the win, but Conner Coyle came down with a missed shot with 7.2 seconds remaining.

Victoria Sexton was then fouled on the inbounds play.

She missed the free throw but got her own rebound and was fouled again with 1.7 seconds.

After another missed free throw, Knox County was unable to get the ball up the floor for a shot.

“This was a good win over a good team. I think it was one of our best games of the year,” Berea coach Jennifer Cornett said. “We missed too many free throws and had too many turnovers in the first half. But they didn’t hang their heads and came out in the second half and played really good defense and shot the ball better.”

On a night when the Lady Pirates honored seniors Chase Fain, Montgomery, Keyser and Cristina Morgan, it was the junior, Sexton who was the star of the game.

The junior center posted a double-double, pouring in a team-best 15 points and pulling down 19 rebounds.

Fain also finished in double figures with 13 points — eight in the game’s tense final 10 minutes when the lead changed hands nine times.

Coyle added six points, while Montgomery had five points, Jordan Sandefur and Alex Horn had four points each and Keyser and Morgan had two points each.

Sexton, Horn, Montgomery, Fain and Coyle more than held their own on the boards against a tall, very quick and physical Knox team. Cornett said rebounding has been a focus in practices the past few weeks.

“Ever since the Southern game we’ve been talking to them about blocking out and putting a body on people on rebounds. We did a good job of that tonight,” she said. “We weren’t getting rewarded for it in the first half, they were going over our backs and we didn’t get the calls. But our guys stuck with it and did a great job of keeping Knox Central off the boards, especially late.”

Berea trailed by four at the half and was down by eight points early in the third quarter.

But the Lady Pirates fought their way back to take a 35-34 lead on a Fain three-pointer with 3:46 remaining in the quarter.

Sexton put Berea up 38-37 with 1:10 left but Knox Central regained the lead 40-38 on a three-pointer at the buzzer.

The Lady Panthers went up 42-38 to open the fourth quarter before Berea retook 44-42 the lead on consecutive baskets by Fain, Horn and Sexton.

The lead changed hands three more times before Montgomery put Berea on top for good with 1:14 left.

Cornett said her team did a great job sharing the ball, which was the difference in the win.

“We talked about getting our post players more involved. Victoria and Alex and Miranda did a good job of getting open and our guards looked for them and got them the ball where they could score,” she said. “Our post guys also did a good job of not forcing shots and shooting the ball into people. They took the shots when they were there and when the shot wasn’t there they kicked it out to the shooters.

The Lady Pirates are back in action on Wolfe County Saturday.

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