The Crowder Lady ‘Riders basketball team battled hard on Saturday, and fittingly so as they donned pink in their annual “Play for Kay” game in support of the Kay Yao Cancer Fund.
After a tough first half, the Lady ‘Riders were lights out in the second half and defeated Arkansas Baptist, 71-55.
It was a special win for the Lady ‘Riders. Before the game, each player wrote the name down of someone they know who has battled cancer and dedicated the game to them.
“Pretty much everybody has a relative or someone they know that’s been affected by cancer,” Crowder coach Tina Robbins said. “And on a day like this that’s one of those things that comes to mind. People with cancer are very courageous and they battle hard, and I think our kids exemplified that today.”
In what perhaps felt more like a road game for the Lady ‘Riders, they trailed the Lady Buffs at halftime, 36-34. A physical game, especially in the early going, the tide changed when Crowder went to a zone defense. Arkansas Baptist couldn’t adjust, and Crowder held the Lady Buffs to just 19 points in the second half.
“It was a very physical game,” Robbins said. “First half, we were kind of sluggish a little bit offensively. Defensively, we gave up too many points in transition.
“Second half, we did a better job. We had some people hurt, so we went to a zone and that kind of turned things around for us. Once we went into the zone they didn’t make a lot of shots. We got out and ran a little bit and made some shots.”
Despite getting banged up on two occasions in the game, Crowder’s Terai Sadler still managed to lead the team with a 23-point effort, including 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Caprese Marshall followed suit with 18 points, while Sarah Sagely added 13, Dorian Briggs eight, Seleena Neal and Camila Lacerda four each, and Megan Ritter one.
Lacerda and Briggs led the team with four steals each, Sagely had five assists, and Briggs also added six boards.
Taylor Green led the Lady Buffs with 20 points, while Tamara Heard had two, Shakira Raynor seven, Makaila Jordan eight, Tatiyana Smith two, Taylor Hill six, Erica Davenport eight and Ashley Wakefield two.
Moving to 22-4 overall, the Lady ‘Riders are on the road for three games against State Fair, Mineral Area and Moberly, before returning to Bob Sneller Gymnasium for their home finale on Feb. 23 against Three Rivers at 2 p.m.