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Berea beats Midway in opening KIAC game

Hosting the opening round of the KIAC tournament, the number two seed Lady Mounties came one step closer to becoming national-bound as they knocked off number two seed Midway 83-79.

Lady Mounties beat Midway 83-79.

Berea and Midway played a close game the entire night. Berea had its spurts as they went on several runs throughout the half, aiming to pull away from the Lady Eagles.

At the 17:04 mark, guard Ashley Sumpter hit a three-pointer, setting the momentum to stretch the lead to 10-3 with a 7-3 run. However, the Lady Eagles didn’t let up. They answered back going on a 10-0 run as they gained their first lead of the game, 10-13.

Center Katie Bailey finally broke the run, hitting a layup after Berea hadn’t scored for about five minutes with 12:05 remaining in the half. Coach Brooks called a timeout, and told his squad that they needed to pick up their defensive intensity. Sumpter took heed to his advice as she came straight out of the timeout and got a steal. A cycle emerged as Bailey got a steal on the following possession.

Down the stretch, Midway would went on a 7-0 run as they extended the lead to 10 with less than five minutes left in the half. Guard Ashley Fowler severed the Lady Eagles’ run, scoring a layup. Next play, Sumpter got fouled while hitting the layup, but she didn’t connect on the free throw, closing the score to 21-27.

With 2:21 remaining both Fowler and guard Heather Hutchins hit a pair of free throws. The Lady Eagles got the last shot of the game hitting a three-pointer with second winding down to the close at 31-42.

During halftime, Coach Juan Byers encourage his team, “Play with emotion. Play with more intensity.”

His advice for the second half was adamant as he emphasized three times that that their success “starts with stops.”

In the second half guard Annbruce Madden went a boisterous streak. She started off by getting fouled and converting the two free throws. The following play she came down and hit a three, then came down again, got fouled, and hit another pair of free throws. Berea went on a 6-0 run in the first two minutes of play and closed the gap to three points at 39-42.

Forward Emily Hinkson improved the Lady Mounties’ run as she hit a three with 16:40 remaining. Moments later, Madden, still hot, hit a back fade-away three, avoiding a shot clock violation. The next play she hit a jump-shot. Madden collected 12 points in the first five minutes of the half.

With the score 62-58 guard Ebony Inskeep blocked a shot and went on to score six straight points. That total included a pair of free throws.

Fowler made a three-pointer with 5:54 remaining, and Sumpter followed getting fouled, hitting the shot, and scoring the free throw to expand the lead to 73-63. This marked the biggest lead of the game for the Mounties.

With less than two minutes left in the half, Midway went on a 12-5 run to close the gap to three points at 78-75. However, Berea reserved their lead and finished the game coming out on top.

Four players scored in double digits; Sumpter 15, Hutchins 12, Fowler 10, and Madden had a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists.

The Ladies would go on to play Brescia University for the quarterfinals in Frankfort and fall short by six points, 55-61. Senior guard Annbruce Madden was named All Conference player for Berea.

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