SULPHUR – One reason the Sulphur Lady Bulldogs are off to a 5-0 start is the luxury of having multiple players step up in any game.
Tuesday, it was Reilly Williams and Savannah Ashford.
Combining for 44 of Sulphur’s 51 points — Williams netted a game-high 26 points and Ashford contributed 18 points — the Lady Bulldogs outlasted the Dickson Lady Comets 51-46.
Dickson’s Clary Donica turned in a 20-point performance.
Williams proved to be a good closer.
With Dickson picking up its seventh foul midway through the second half, putting Sulphur in the one-and-one bonus, Williams sank four consecutive free throws in the first 1:36 of the fourth quarter, increasing what had been a five-point Sulphur lead to 44-35.
“For her to show up tonight and score 26 of our 51, obviously, we wouldn’t have won without her,” Sulphur coach Toby Todd said. “Dickson is a good team that is coached well.
“Whenever we popped her out on the perimeter, we felt that we had some mismatches for her to attack. She did a great job of attacking to the basket and in the fourth quarter getting to the free-throw line. She did a phenomenal job, and not just her, but so did Savannah.”
Dickson’s hard work on the boards during the third quarter wasn’t rewarded, but Lady Comets coach Jennifer Mays-Krimmer, who said that her team shot around 10 percent, was ecstatic to see her team not give in the game’s final few minutes.
Madison Rozzell assisted on a 3-pointer by Kirstyn Jolly, and after a steal by Jolly in front of the Sulphur bench on the ensuing Lady Bulldogs ‘possession, Jamie Hawkins made a jump shot to cut the deficit to 46-44 with 1:29 remaining.
“In the third quarter, we rebounded the ball really well, but shot about 10 percent,” Mays-Krimmer said. “Right now, we’re up and down. Some nights, we’ll shoot about 70 percent. Others, we’ll shoot around 20. If we can ever get to where we can consistently shoot around 40 (percent), we’ll be tough.”
Donica’s performance was a positive for Dickson.
“Clary Donica can be a game-changer in the paint,” Mays-Krimmer said. “She is so strong and she has the ability to really shoot anywhere, and she’s still young. She’s still figuring things about whether to turn along the baseline or go straight ahead. But, overall, she plays solid every night.”
For as well as Williams drove to the basket, she also assisted on a basket less than a minute, passing the ball to Ashford, who converted a layup, for a four-point Lady Bulldogs lead with 1:03 left.
The first half proved to be a back-and-forth affair.
Dickson took a 17-16 lead on a 13 jumper with 7:14 remaining before halftime.
Dickson struggled to take care of the ball later in the second quarter and Sulphur passed the ball unselfishly to create open looks at the basket.
Williams spun in the lane and made a layup to put the Lady Bulldogs ahead 28-21.
Dickson’s Maddie Williams made a 3-pointer in the dying seconds of the first half to make it a 30-26 score in favor of Sulphur heading into the locker room.