The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Top-seeded Potter-Dix survives against Bayard

 

Stephen McKay

Potter-Dix's Alexus Rozelle, left, catches an elbow from Bayard's Kaylie Fiscus in Thursday's semifinal.

Though the Bayard High School Lady Tigers gave Potter-Dix little trouble in their previous meeting earlier this month, the Cats nearly clawed their way to an upset victory in the rematch.

But the top-seeded Lady Coyotes (11-2) survived the scare to prevail over No. 4 Bayard (5-9) 39-36 in the semifinal round of the Minuteman Activities Conference Tournament last night at Sidney Middle School.

The win earned Potter-Dix a ticket into the championship game against the No. 2 Leyton Lady Warriors. Leyton snuck by Creek Valley 52-48 in a game later on the card. The two will square off for the championship on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

When last the Tigers and Coyotes met, Potter-Dix had most of the answers in a 41-26 win back on Jan. 9. The Coyotes led wire-to-wire that evening and opened up on this night as if they had similar intentions.

Potter-Dix held the Tigers without a field goal over the first eight minutes to take an 11-0 lead. Only a late free throw by Chellini Parriott kept the Tigers from being shutout. Almost immediately after the second quarter began, however, Bayard began slowly climbing back into the contest.

"After our start I thought it would be a lot like last time," said the Coyotes' Anna McLaughlin. "We all felt pretty confident all through the first half but then we got a real wake-up call."

On a couple of occasions in the early portion of the second period, Bayard got to within seven. But with 1:23 left until the half, Jessi Smith tickled the twine for three that began a 7-2 run bringing the Tigers to within three (18-15). Dawson Sharman finished the half by hitting both ends of a one-and-one.

Sharman picked up where she left off opening the second half. She hit a three-pointer just seconds after the inbounds opened the second half. The Sharman trey turned out to be the difference in the quarter as the teams went on to score eight a side. The three-point edge in the third gave the Coyotes a 31-23 lead after 24 minutes.

With 4:44 left in the final quarter, Potter-Dix surrendered the lead for the first time in the game on Miah Vera's three pointer. But the 32-31 deficit lasted only 13 seconds before Anna McLauglin returned an offensive rebound through the hole. Though once tied after the McLauglin hoop, the Coyotes never again trailed.

Both teams struggled from the foul line in the final quarter. Potter-Dix and Bayard combined to miss 22 free throws while hitting on 12.

"Being so competitive it kind of shook me up a little when they took the lead," said Audrey Juelfs. "They really made have to bear down in the fourth quarter."

Sharman led the Coyotes in scoring with 11 points, while Savannah Shaw added seven and Alexus Rozelle had six. A trio of Coyotes had five points including McLaughlin, Trinity Langley and Juelfs. Parriott led all scorers for Bayard with 14 points.

 

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