By Emily Norris (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
The Blue Eye girls beat host Sparta 44-33 to claim a fourth consecutive Sparta Lady Trojan Classic title on Saturday.
“Sparta is a really good team, and I knew coming in that they were playing well. They were 11-1 and we had to play well. Early on we struggled. We missed a lot of easy ones and we did not really execute our game plan early. But, like I told my kids, be patient. I told them before the game, be patient. Sparta will make runs and we just need to be patient. The way we play, we can always get back in the game. So, the kids just buy into it. We started the second quarter, we kind of got impatient, a little bit; started getting to the free throw line even though our free throws were bad tonight, we did not shoot them very well. Overall offensively it was not very pretty; I thought to come out of here with a win, we are pretty fortunate,” Blue Eye head coach Ken Elfrink said.
Sparta opened the game by jumping out to a 15-5 lead after one. Blue Eye would clamp down in the second quarter and head into the break trailing 21-17.
It was all Blue Eye in the second half. The Lady Bulldogs outscored Sparta 27-12 over the final two periods to finish off the win.
The Lady Bulldogs victory was a team effort.
“They all did something throughout. Samantha George came off the bench and did a huge job for me when we got in foul trouble. Avery and Riley Arnold do what they do every night and they both step and give the big shots when we needed the big shots,” Elfrink said. “Obviously, we did not make free throws. Gracyn Fairchild hit some big 3’s and got some big rebounds. Even as a team I thought we rebounded well and defensively we were one unit.”
Avery Arnold led all scorers with 15 points for Blue Eye. Sister Riley added in 12 points while Gracyn Fairchild had 10.
Brooklyn Roller hit four three-pointers and added a free throw to lead Sparta with 13 points.
Blue Eye takes on Reeds Springs on Thursday, Jan. 14. Sparta is also off until next Thursday when the Lady Trojans host Ash Grove
Blue Eye: 5 17 35 44
Sparta: 15 21 30 33
Blue Eye: Avery Arnold 15, Riley Arnold 12, Gracyn Fairchild 10, Samantha George 4, Kyla Warren 2, Makayla Johnson 1
Sparta: Brooklyn Roller 13, Natalie Wilks 6, Byrnn Holt 5, Laney Humble 5, Megan Brown 4