Ellwood Christian's Ebony Simpson (32) dribbles the ball up the floor during Tuesday's game at Keith High School -- Robert Hudson

Lady Eagles end season in area tourney

Published 9:23pm Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ORRVILLE — It was a close game throughout the third quarter, but the mistakes and turnovers proved too costly for the Ellwood Christian Academy Lady Eagles, as they fell 39-26 to the Billingsley Lady Bears, ending their season in the first round of the Class 1A Area 5 tournament.

Ellwood coach Nate Brown said the Lady Eagles (5-14) were hurt by crucial mistakes down the stretch.

“I think just lack of hustle on our part, a lot of mental mistakes. A lot of our girls are new and just learning the game. We’ve played this team three times already. We beat them twice, so it’s hard to beat a team three times. They were ready for us this time,” Brown said. “We just didn’t take the game serious from the beginning. The girls didn’t come out loose at all. They were too sure of themselves and the game just took over.”

The Lady Eagles trailed only 23-16 at halftime, and cut into that deficit, as Ebony Simpson scored on a fast-break layup to open the second half and make it 23-18.

Billingsley responded, as Alexis Cook buried a 3-pointer and Payton Wallace hit two free throws to extend the Lady Bears’ lead to 28-18 with 5:56 left in the third.

Ellwood got back within single digits with a 3-pointer from Chasity Minter that made the score 28-21, but Wallace and teammate Tasha Parker scored on back-to-back possessions to extend the lead to 32-21 with 1:40 left in the third.

The Lady Eagles scored the final basket of the quarter on a runner by Simpson that made it a 32-23 game going into the fourth.

Billingsley controlled the fourth quarter, starting off with a mid-range jumper from Cook before the Lady Bears went 4 for 7 from the free throw line to extend their lead to 38-23 with 3:03 remaining.

Ellwood finally scored in the fourth, as Makayla Berry hit a 3-pointer to make it 38-26 with 2:36 left, but the Lady Eagles didn’t score the rest of the way.

Minter led Ellwood with 8 points, while Simpson had 7 points and Berry had 6 points.

Cook led Billingsley with 14 points, while Wallace had 12 points.

Billingsley will play the host Keith Lady Bears on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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