Lady Dukes earn win number 21 the hard way
By DAVID GRAVELY, SWT Sports Editor
From the very start it had the makings of a great game.
The Dublin Middle School Lady Dukes walked into the Orioles Nest at Pulaski Middle School with a perfect 20-0 record Thursday, but to earn win number 21 would take an extra effort, as they were playing without one of their leading scorers and rebounders.
Add to that the fact that the Pulaski Middle School Lady Orioles have come a long way since the season started, and for them their would be no better way to end the season than to take down the top team in the area.
The first quarter found the Lady Orioles playing like they had a chip on their shoulders and their hair on fire, and the Lady Dukes struggled to find an answer to the Pulaski pressure. Pulaski scored a basket to take a lead at the start of the game. Then they scored another one.
Dublin isn’t used to being behind, but with just 38 seconds remaining in the quarter they trailed 5-2. A quick time out by Coach Buddy Farris let him calm his team down, and at the end of the quarter the score was tied at 5-5.
Many of those in attendance expected to see the Lady Orioles fold, but it didn’t happen. A 6-point run found Pulaski holding an 11-5 lead with 4:19 left in the first half.
Slowly, the Lady Dukes started fighting their way back. A free throw here, a basket there, a forced turnover now and then, and then with 2:13 left two Lady Duke free throws gave them a 12-11 advantage that lasted for almost 15 seconds. Pulaski hit a jumper to go up 13-12, but then the Lady Duke defense stepped up. Quick points scored in transition gave Dublin the 16-13 lead at the halftime break.
Dublin came out in the second half and never looked back. The Orioles continued to fight for the ball and work hard, but by the end of the third quarter the Lady Dukes had outscored Pulaski 9-6 and led 26-19. The brakes came off the wagon in the final quarter, with Dublin outscoring Pulaski 12-4 to earn a 38-23 win, their twenty-first consecutive win this season.
“You have to give Pulaski credit, they came out and played us hard and never backed down,” said Dublin Head Coach Buddy Farris. “They’ve come a long way since the season started. It’s good to see, and it’s good for the future of their program and for the future of the high school program.”
Pulaski Middle School was led in scoring by Taylor Sink with 10 points, followed by Alaina Akers with 8 points. Kierra Plummer and Kaylee Tucker added 2 points each, and Jessica Burroughs scored 1 point.
Dublin Middle School was led by Tyanna Haynes, who scored a team and game high 14 points. Amiah Stables added 7 points, followed by Macaylah Phillips with 5 points. Taylor Dickerson and Shaye Somervell added 4 points each, and Leah Low and Kayla Brown scored 2 points each.
“We’re proud of the way the girls played tonight, and we’re proud of the way they came along throughout the season,” said Pulaski Head Coach Tony Viars. “When you put all of these young ladies together at the high school I think we’ll see good things.”
The game was the final of the season for the Lady Orioles.
Dublin will play one final game, this one on the road against Carroll County. That game is set for Wednesday, Jan. 22 with a 4:30 start time.