Defense fuels Lady Bulldogs' comeback win
Melisa Williams...came off the bench Monday night to lead the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 14 points. photo by Kory Hales
Rhyannon Patrick was a factor early in Odessa's season opener against Clinton Monday with foul trouble. She was also a factor late in the contest with two clutch free throws that ultimately completed the Lady Bulldogs' 41-40 comeback win.
Lady Cardinals were given several easy chances at the rim in the first quarter thanks to defensive breakdowns. Clinton managed to take a 12-9 lead to the second quarter despite committing eight first-quarter turnovers.
Odessa was getting shots in the first half, but nothing was falling. Lady Bulldogs were just 6-for-34 from the floor through 16 minutes of play. Many of those shots were jumpers, which did not allow Odessa to get to the free throw line until 5:10 remaining in the half.
Kylin Grubb sank her two free throws to cut Clinton's lead to 17-11. Just under a minute later, Clinton's Anna Wilkerson made a free throw of her own to make it 18-11. Melisa Williams did her best to swing the momentum Odessa's way with a personal 5-0 run to cut the deficit to two, but Clinton held Odessa scoreless over the final 2:57 of the second to take a 24-16 halftime lead.
Odessa stepped it up defensively in the second half. Those easy shots Clinton was getting in the first half, in which they shot 50% from the floor, were virtually nonexistent over the final two quarters.
Lady Cardinals scored the first three points of the second half on a Riley Cook trey 15 seconds into the third, but they would only score four more points the rest of the quarter. Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs found a little offense, getting baskets from Patrick, Williams and Morgan Williams to close to within one of Clinton. Read more in The Odessan.
Bulldogs defeat Benton in opener
Odessa tipped off the season with a road test at St. Joseph Benton December 3 and passed with flying colors with a 71-57 victory.
"We started the game in fine fashion, leading 22-6 at one point in the first quarter," commented head coach Mike Elliott. "They made several runs at our lead throughout the game and cut our lead to five at one point. I thought we responded well each time and ended up winning by 14. I thought we played hard and together all four quarters. It's a great way to open the season." Read more in The Odessan.
Husker Classic starts next week
Odessa will play in the Husker Classic in Higginsville next week. Lady Bulldogs are the tournament's six seed. They will play third seeded St. Pius in the quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Monday, December 9, in the East gymnasium. A win over the Lady Warriors would send Odessa to the semifinals Wednesday at 6 p.m. December 11. Championship contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, December 14. Third place game will tip at 1 p.m. December 14.
If the Lady Bulldogs lose their opening round game to St. Pius, they will play in a consolation semifinal at 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 11. Fifth place game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 13. Seventh place game will take place at 6 p.m. December 13.
Brookfield is the top seed in the tournament. Higginsville is the two seed followed by St. Pius, O'Hara, Richmond, Odessa, Oak Grove and Lexington. Read more in The Odessan.
Bulldogs release end-of-season stats
Season-ending statistics for the Odessa football team have been released. Bulldogs finished 2-8 overall and 0-5 in the MRVC West.
Bulldogs scored 150 points and allowed 370.
Bulldogs ran the ball 266 times for 1334 yards. Odessa threw the ball 167 times, completing 61 for 992 yards.
Jake Bartow ran 115 times for 678 yards. He scored six rushing touchdowns.
Luke Drenon ran 69 times for 312 yards and scored six touchdowns.
Johnny West went for 188 yards on 41 carries.
Trevor Plafcan ran 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown. Calieb Bennett ran seven times for 34 yards. Austin Weygandt ran 10 times for 35 yards.
Bartow threw 165 times, completing 61 for 992 yards and 10 touchdowns. He threw 13 interceptions. Read more in The Odessan.
SEC East champions... Missouri Tigers defeated Texas A&M Saturday night in Columbia and will play in the SEC championship game this week. At left, Henry Josey breaks into the open for the game winning touchdown. Above, fans covered the field after the Tiger victory. photo by Kory Hales