HUGHES — Once again, the Carlisle Junior Lady Bison are the queens of the 2A-6 district tournament.
Carlisle (15-5) pulled away from Clarendon for a 39-27 win in the finals of the district tournament Saturday at Hughes High School. The victory gave Carlisle it’s first district tournament title in three years and sixth in eight seasons.
"I can’t say enough about how hard they’ve worked this year," Carlisle coach Jonathan Buffalo said. "We finished 9-10 last year, playing a lot of the same girls."
Buffalo said his team took two days off after losing in the district tournament at Augusta last year.
"The one thing you culminate with in junior high is the district championship," Buffalo said. "We won the regular season [7-0] and won the district championship. I couldn’t be more proud of them."
The score was tied 3-3 late in the first quarter. Carlisle went on a 10-0 run to lead 13-3 with 2:54 left in the first half. Kayla Golleher started with run with a jumper with three seconds left in the first quarter. Arin Carpenter then hit two free throws early in the second quarter. Kylie Warren then scored six consecutive points — four on drives to the basket and two free throws — to account for the run.
The Junior Lady Bison led 18-8 following two free throws by Star Tarter with 55.5 seconds left in the first half. Clarendon’s Taya Draper scored the final four points of the half to make the score 18-12 at intermission.
Clarendon cut the deficit to 21-19 midway through the third quarter but Carlisle scored the final four points — two each by Rachel Jones and Golleher — to lead 25-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
Carpenter hit two free throws early in the fourth quarter to make the score 27-19.
Clarendon scored four in a row to pull to within four at 27-23. From there, Carlisle outscored Clarendon 12-4 to end the game. The Junior Lady Bison hit 8 of 10 free throws in the final six minutes to secure the victory.
Golleher led Carlisle with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Warren had 11 points and five boards. Tarter, Molli Weems and Carpenter had four points each. Jones had two.
Freshman Peyton Hitchings was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Draper led Clarendon with 24 points.
With the success of this season, the outlook continues to be bright for Lady Bison basketball.
"They are very hard-working kids," Buffalo said. "They have some talent. They are very coachable. The future is bright."
Carlisle 33, Palestine-Wheatley 26
The Carlisle Junior Lady Bison, playing for the first time in 13 days, held off Palestine-Wheatley for a 33-26 win in the semifinals of the 2A-6 district tournament Feb. 13 at Hughes.
Carlisle led 5-4 after one quarter and 17-11 at halftime.
Star Tarter led Carlisle with 11 points. Kylie Warren had six. Scoring four points each were Kayla Golleher, Peyton Hitchings and Molli Weems. Arin Carpenter and Rachel Jones had two points each.