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The 3 Will Set Her Free

Tillie, Spears sink key treys as Lady Rebels pull clear of WB

William Blount’s Amber Click looks for an opening against Maryville’s Kayla Tillie on Friday. Photos by Brandon Shinn

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Leila Bangash got by with a little help from her friends Friday night.

Maryville's Leila Bangash, left, and William Blount's Mikayla Combs battle for the ball.

William Blount frustrated the Maryville ace for a quarter with a tricky defense designed for anyone but Bangash to shoot.

Guards Kayla Tillie and Olivia Spears found the mark for a series of zone-busting 3s, providing Bangash with some room to work.

Coupled with a Lady Governor attack struggling from both the field and the foul line, the Lady Rebels pulled clear to cruise to a 51-24 win at James Campbell Gymnasium.

“It was up to Olivia and Kayla to knock that shot down,” Maryville coach Scott West said, “and that got us rolling.”

Bangash, the District 4AAA leading scorer this season, broke out for a game-high 17 points after Tillie, 16 points, three treys, and Spears, a key, first-half bomb, freed her from what looked a William Blount box-and-one zone.

“A lot of teams try to face guard me and keep me from getting the ball,” Bangash said. “It really helps when Kayla can hit some big shots.”

The Lady Rebels (8-9, 5-4 District 4AAA) led only 5-1 after a quarter, the Lady Governors (11-12, 5-4) unable to take advantage by virtue of a bad night at the free-throw line and an off-shooting night from guard Haley Talbott.

Paxton Robinette, left, and Samantha Henry ready for the rebound.

William Blount finished the contest 16-of-35 from the charity stripe as Maryville built leads of 21-7 at the half and 34-13 after three quarters. Talbott went scoreless, the Lady Governors as a team unable to find the mark.

“Tonight, I challenged them,” West said. “‘We’re going to get after them.’”

The Lady Rebels have surrendered 50 points to an opponent only once this season. Friday’s effort, West said, was partly a tough night for the Lady Governors.

“That’s a lot better team than they showed out there,” he said. “Haley Talbott is the best shooter in the district, and we did a good job tonight.”

Amber Click and Kristin McGill paced William Blount with six points each, with Samantha Henry just back with five, including a 3-pointer.

Paxton Robinette, six points, and Kate Pepperman, four, got underneath the Lady Governor zone for buckets after Tillie, Spears and Bangash forced William Blount to defend the perimeter. Reserves had the run of play for much of the fourth, with newcomer Karin Hamaguchi providing an exclamation trey inside the final minute.

Rebels 71, Governors 58
Maryville raced off to a 48-29 lead at the half and seemingly put it away.

Clark McCall lays in two of his team-best 17 points.

Jaden Bailey got crazy fired up in the second half and brought William Blount back, the district-leading Rebels (15-3, 6-0) needing a strong finish to hold the Governors off.

Jaden Bailey pumps in a baseline jumper.

Bailey got loose with a series of buckets the last four minutes of the third, including  a pair of treys. His last, a sweetly-banked 3 seconds before the third quarter horn, trimmed the Maryville lead to 56-47 with a quarter to play.

The long chase back took its toll on the Governors (7-16, 2-7) the final eight minutes.

Bailey led all scorers on the night with 18 points, banging away with four 3s. Cody Mathis pumped in 15 for William Blount, Reed Daniels 11, including two treys.

Sweet-shooting big man Clark McCall paced the Rebels with 17, including three deep treys. T.J. Kimble finished with 16, Isaac Edmiston 15, including a 3. Bryan Landers had 12, also with a trey.







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