For the third year in a row, Blue Eye’s Lady Bulldogs won the championship game at the Sparta Tournament as they beat Sparta 49-46 Wednesday night.
Head coach Ken Elfrink said the team was pretty amped up heading into the game.
Obviously, they’d been in the finals before at this tournament, but Elfrink said Sparta has a good group of younger players.
“I give Sparta a lot of credit,” Elfrink said. “They came out and played well.”
Blue Eye started out with a 4 to nothing lead, but Sparta got out on a run shortly after and outscored the Lady Bulldogs in the first quarter. Headed into the second quarter, the Lady Bulldogs trailed 22-7.
Elfrink said the team could have very well given up, but they didn’t.
“I told the kids, second quarter it’s not about getting the ball back this quarter,” Elfrink said. “We wanted to try to cut it in half.”
And they did, they held Sparta to six points in the second quarter.
After the break, Blue Eye outscored Sparta 15-0 in the third. The final eight minutes were a battle. The ball ended up in senior Kohnnar Patton’s hands late in the game.
“She made a play, kicked it out to Avery (Arnold) and was able to down a three for the win,” Elfrink said.
Elfrink said the Lady Bulldogs were very excited with the outcome of the game.
“We very well could have laid down and rolled over,” Elfrink said. “We had to fight hard to get back in it.”
Despite the excitement, he said the team recognizes that they didn’t play their best basketball and know there are some things to clean up if they want to have a chance in the postseason. Elfrink mentioned ball security and decision-making as two of the things they’d like to improve on moving forward.
After Wednesday’s victory, the Lady Bulldogs have 10 wins under their belt for the season.
The Lady Bulldogs have five more games before they face Sparta again Feb. 3, this time on their home court.
“It should be a good game,” Elfrink said.