Bellevue ends Three Oaks unbeaten streak in sectional title game

Monday, February 6, 2017
Three Oaks’ Aliyah Bonds puts up a running jumper during the Lady Choctaws’ loss to Bellevue in the championship game of the West Sectional Girls Tournament at Airways Middle School on Monday night in Memphis.

JASON PEEVYHOUSE

jpeevyhouse@stategazette.com

The Three Oaks girls saw their hopes of a West Sectional championship as well as an unbeaten season come to an end on Monday night as the Lady Choctaw team that rarely trailed during the first 21 games of the season never got on top of Bellevue, as the Lady Bobcats defeated Three Oaks 44-26 in the finals of the West Sectional Tournament in Memphis on Monday night.

“We had a really good campaign this year,” Three Oaks head coach Tim Strayhorn said. “We lost tonight and just didn’t follow the game plan like we should have.

“Everybody has just got to look themselves in the mirror. I told them we’ve just got to get back in the gym and get better.”

An early bucket from Bellevue’s Se’Quoia Allmond set the tone which carried on for much of the night as the eighth-grader led the way for the Lady Bobcats on the offensive side of the floor. Three Oaks answered quickly with a layup from Ciara Taylor. But, beginning with a pair of Lee buckets for Bellevue, the Lady Bobcats dominated the remainder of the second quarter, ending the frame on a 15-2 run capped by an Allmond three-pointer to give Bellevue a 17-4 lead after one.

A layup from Taylor and a pair of Zoie Springer free throws cut the Lady Bobcat lead to nine points early in the second quarter, but four more points from Allmond pushed the lead back to 21-8 moments later. An Aliyah Bonds bucket and a Jametria Smith layup countered and, after a Allmond free throw, a Taylor tally and a Bonds layup cut the lead down to six points with 1:24 left in the half. But, a pair of buckets from Allmond gave Bellevue a 26-16 halftime lead.

Three Oaks cut the deficit back to six points again midway through the third frame as a Springer layup and a Bonds bucket trimmed the gap to 28-22. But, two more Allmond buckets countered a Smith score to give the Lady Bobcats a 32-24 lead heading into the final frame.

As they had done the end of the first frame, the Lady Bobcats dominated the final six minutes of the contest, outscoring Three Oaks 12-2 in the fourth quarter to seal the win and take the West Sectional Tournament title.

Taylor and Bonds each led the way for the Lady Choctaws with eight points apiece while Springer and Smith added four each in the loss.

Allmond led all scorers with 32 points in the Bellevue win.

“Tonight was a good environment – a big crowd,” Strayhorn said. “Now, we’ve just got to get back in the gym and work towards this spring and this summer and work on our skills.

“Get mentally tough and get our skills better.”

The loss on Monday night was the final game at the middle school level for the Lady Choctaws eighth-graders – including starters Smith, Taylor, Bonds and Springer as well as reserves Blakely Mink, Addison Griffin and Attaya Lafayette.

“They’re pretty skilled,” Strayhorn said. “We’ve got four kids that can really score.

“We’ve got a good group of eighth-graders getting ready to go to high school. I think when they mix with our high schoolers, we’re going to have good things.”

The loss completes the Three Oaks season with a record of 22-1.

Three Oaks girls 55, Dexter 28

The Lady Choctaws advanced to Monday’s title game with a 27-point win over Dexter on Saturday afternoon.

Three Oaks built a 29-18 lead at the half before dominating the second half by outscoring Dexter 26-10 over the final 12 minutes of action.

Springer led the way for the Lady Choctaws with 20 points while Bonds added 11 in the win. Smith rounded out Three Oaks’ double-digit scorers with 10.

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