For the first time in four years, the Carlisle Lady Bison are conference champions.
Carlisle (16-7, 12-2 2A-6) jumped out to a 17-4 lead en route to a 61-36 win over the Hughes Lady Blue Devils in the conference finale at Bison Arena on Thursday. Hughes beat the Lady Bison 69-65 in overtime Jan. 8 at Hughes.
"It was a big day," Carlisle coach Jonathan Buffalo said. "We had our basketball Sweetheart Court today to honor our basketball teams and it was Senior Night.
"The kids responded well and jumped out early."
Buffalo said his team’s start was the best it’s had in a long time.
"We’ve won eight games in a row and we’ve come out flat a couple of times," he said. "Tonight, we came ready to play. We knew it was a big ballgame. I talked to the ladies and told them that we had a chance to do something that hasn’t happened since the 2008-09 season. I told them that we were going to play four quarters."
Carlisle scored the first seven points of the game. Breanna Young and Faith Walker each scored two points, sandwiched around a three-pointer by Maddie Harrison.
Hughes scored four in a row before the Lady Bison reeled off 10 consecutive points. Young and Walker scored four points each while Callie Hillman and Presley Carter each hit a free throw.
Hughes tried to keep it close in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 23-15 with 3:54 left.
From there, the Lady Bison scored nine win a row, including four in a row by Carter on putbacks. Hillman hit a short jumper before Harrison hit a three-pointer with 1:05 left to give the Lady Bison a 32-15 lead.
Hughes’ Shunice Broadway hit two free throws with 0.8 seconds left to make the score 32-17 at halftime.
The Lady Bison scored the first six points of the second half and led 44-23 after three quarters.
Carlisle’s largest lead was 25 points at 56-31, 58-33 and 61-36.
Walker led Carlisle with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Carter had nine points and seven boards. Young had eight points and 11 rebounds. Sloane Henderson scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds. Harrison had six points and five rebounds. Hillman had five points and five rebounds. Hannah Cooper had four points and five rebounds.
Sharquese Johnson led Hughes with 13 points. Kiasha Richmond had 11.
The victory was the last home game for three Lady Bison seniors — Harrison, Hillman and Cooper.
The 2A-6 district tournament will be held at Hughes. The Lady Bison are scheduled to play Feb. 13. They are also qualified for the Class 2A East Region tournament, which starts Feb. 20 at Bison Arena.
Lady Bison 51, Conway Christian 37
The Carlisle Lady Bison won their ninth consecutive game to improve to 17-7 with a 51-37 victory over Conway Christian on Tuesday.
Carlisle led 12-7 after one quarter and 29-17 at halftime.
Callie Hillman led Carlisle with 20 points. She hit five three-pointers and was 5 for 6 from the free throw line.
Faith Walker added 18. Sloane Henderson had eight. Breanna Young scored four. Hannah Cooper added a free throw.
Jr. Lady Bison 28, Hughes 8
The Carlisle Junior Lady Bison clinched a perfect 2A-6 season by beating Hughes 28-8 in the regular-season finale at Bison Arena on Jan. 31.
Carlisle is now 13-5 overall and 7-0 in league play.
The Junior Lady Bison scored early and often, leading 15-0 after one quarter and 22-2 at halftime.
Each team scored six points in the second half.
Kayla Golleher led Carlisle with nine points. Molli Weems had eight. Peyton Hitchings and Star Tarter had four points each. Kylie Warren had three.