By Brian Hall
The Reeds Spring Lady Wolves have a new look. With a new coach, Lesley Reeves-Eakins, comes a new offense, a new defense, and for a team that was 2-24 overall last season, a new focus.
“We worked all summer trying to learn a whole new program,” said Reeves-Eakins. “I’ve just been approaching it like, ‘Work hard. Every day. Every minute, try to get better.”
The Lady Wolves took a big step forward Monday night, defeating an experienced Lady Panthers team from Forsyth 56-54 on a buzzer-beating basket by Shelby Strailey. This was the home opener and the third win of the season for Reeds Spring (3-1 overall).
Minute to minute and step by step. That’s how Coach Reeves-Eakins is breaking it down for her girls. “We didn’t come in [to this season] looking for any wins. We came in trying to make ourselves and our teammates a little bit better,” she said.
Reeds Spring was down four points, 43-39 at the start of the fourth quarter. They retook the lead at 46-45 on a short jumper by freshman Brooke Davis. Back came the Lady Panthers who regained the lead and built it to three points on a basket by senior Lacy Moore. Moore led all scorers with 23 points.
There were a total of five lead changes in the fourth quarter.
It looked as if the game might go into overtime as Moore hit two key free throws with less than 10 seconds on the clock to tie the game. She was 7-for-14 from the stripe for the game.
With the game ties at 54, Coach Reeves-Eakins decided to play it out and Emily Shipman took the in-bounds pass. She drove the length of the court, drew the defense to her as she neared the basket, and made a pass to Shelby Strailey. Strailey hit the short jumper as time expired.
“I’ve got a guard in (Strailey) that I trust,” said Reeves-Eakins. “She did exactly what I wanted her to do. I wanted her to take that shot at the end.”
Reeds Spring started the game out right taking a 7-0 lead to start the game. Forsyth (2-3) made a strong push scoring 13 straight points in a fast-paced, turnover-laiden first quarter. Reeds Spring committed 11 turnovers to Forsyth’s eight in the frame.
Things settled down a bit as both teams controlled the ball better in the second period. Forsyth was only able to extend their lead to five points at the half, leading the Lady Wolves 28-23.
Along with Moore, Forsyth got a strong scoring performance from senior Maycee Lumley who scored 16 points. The Lady Panthers head coach, Mandy Rogers, noted her seniors’ strong performance, but wanted a better team effort. “We were a little complacent tonight and really weren’t sure what we were doing on either end of the floor. We’ve got to have five people knowing where to go and getting after it and it seemed like tonight were were a step behind.”
Reeds Spring had a balanced scoring attack. Every player in the book scored and the leading scorer was freshman Carley Reeves-Eakins with 11 points.
Forsyth continues action next week starting conference action on Monday against Galena; Reeds Spring gets back at it tomorrow in Aurora.
Reeds Spring 56, Forsyth 54
Reeds Spring: 9-14-16-17 56
Forsyth: 13-15-15-11 54
Reeds Spring: Essary, 2; Neels, 2; Strailey, 5; Rudd, 8; Asbill, 8; Davis, 4; Johnson, 4; Reeves-Eakins, 11; Stark, 2; Sampson, 10
Forsyth: Shipman, 3; Lumley, 16; Moore, 23; Romine, 4; Gillman, 1; Nuss, 4; Davidson, 3