Big first half sends Aurora past Reeds Spring

By Pat Dailey (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

REEDS SPRING — The scouting report Kaylee Huffman and her Aurora teammates received on Reeds Spring read exactly likes to she hears about an opponent.

With the Lady ‘Houns showing focused on Lady Wolves point guard Kaleena Asbill, Huffman responded with an 18-point night in Aurora’s 73-50 triumph Tuesday.

Coming off a matchup against Walnut Grove point guard Faith Gilkey, Huffman played nearly error-free ball opposite Asbill and the Lady Wolves. Huffman was usually right in the middle of things for Aurora in its 43-point first half. The Lady ‘Houns were up by 20 at halftime.

“I’m very competitive, so I love it,” Huffman said of playing against premier point guards. “That’s one of my favorite things. You’ve got to have confidence and go right at them.”

Huffman was well aware of Asbill’s quickness at both ends of the court.

“She’s a very good guard,” Huffman said. “We focused on her and talked about her technique. I knew she is quick, so my main focus was to stay on her.”

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Likewise, Aurora coach DJ Gutscher stressed the importance of overcoming Reeds Spring’s perimeter defense.

“You’ve got to do a good job taking care of the ball up front against their defense because they do a good job applying pressure,” Gutscher said. “We did a good job executing and getting through their defense. Kaylee does a good job getting the ball where it needs to be. She doesn’t get rattled very easy.”

Asbill proved her worth by scoring 28 points.

“Some of the these point guards amaze me with the talent they have,” Reeds Spring coach Leslie Reaves-Eakins said. “Going head-to-head tonight and with both of them trying to stay out of foul trouble while going after steals, I thought both of them showed they can play offensively and defensively.”

Points in the paint were plentiful for Aurora. In addition to Huffman’s 18 points, forward Emily Moore netted a team-high 21 points and center Cheyanne Eutsler added 12.

“It was very important for us to establish an inside presence,” Gutscher said. “That worked to our advantage. We did a good job crashing boards, executed well down low and messed with their rotations because we established our presence inside.”

The Lady ‘Hounds were proud of their execution and decision making.

“We worked hard at meeting our passes,” Huffman said. “That’s one key thing coach emphasizes to us. Whether it’s a strong pass or weak pass, we want to meet the pass.”

Reeds Spring is reeling from injuries to its top two rebounders from last season. Carley Reaves-Eakins will miss the entire season due to a torn MCL and torn ACL she suffered in the pre-season. Tara Sampson is out after suffering what Leslie Reaves-Eakins described as, “whiplash.”

It also didn’t help the Lady Wolves to be playing their fourth game in six nights.

“We lost our legs tonight,” Reaves-Eakins said. “Our pressure up front wasn’t nearly as prominent as it normally is.”

The Lady ‘Houns are hoping to receive good news regarding the status of Eutsler. She went down with a knee injury with two minutes remaining.

“That put a damper on the night,” Gutscher said. “She’s an unspoken leader of our team. The girls are more confident when she is on the floor.”

“When she went down, my heart broke,” Huffman added. “We are praying for good news.”

Aurora 21 22 14 6 – 73
Reeds Spring 14 9 8 19 – 50
AURORA (73) – Kaylee Huffman 18, Ashley Vaught 3, Lillie Bodeen 8, Elizabeth Martin 9, Emily Moore 21, Cheyanne Eutsler 12, Aubrey Boatwright 2.
REEDS SPRING (50) – Kylie Place 3, Shelby Strailey 10, Kaleena Asbill 28, Brooke Davis 4.