THE POST-SIGNAL / Chris Quebedeaux
Midland’s Caitlyn Boudreaux drives past a defender Monday during the Lady Rebels’ 52-45 victory over Bell City.
Lady Rebels top Bell City in league opener
The Midland Lady Rebels weathered the storm Monday, withstanding a pair of second half rallies to hold on for a 52-45 victory over Bell City in the District 7-B opener for both teams.
The victory snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Lady Bruins, who fell to 12-4 with the loss.
The Lady Rebels, ranked No. 4 in the Class B power ratings, improved to 7-9.
“This was a big win for us,” said MHS coach Christy Hebert whose team consists of two juniors and the remainder are freshmen. “We are a really young team, but the girls are growing up. The big thing is that they didn’t give up when they (Bell City) made those runs and they kept battling.
“They did get a little rattled there, but they were able to regroup and battled to get the win. That’s all that counts.”
The Lady Rebels led by as many as 16 in the first half but the Lady Bruins chipped away and got within two midway through the third quarter (34-32).
The visitors then went on a 7-1 run to end the frame and take a 41-33 advantage on Myra Carslon’s layup to end the quarter.
Caitlyn Boudreaux’s jumper in the lane with just under four minutes remaining gave the Lady Dogs a nine-point cushion, but in a matter of seconds, the Bruins scored five straight points to trim the lead to five (49-45) with 1:32 remaining.
Midland’s defense held from there and Boudreaux added three clutch free throws down the stretch to close out the game.
The charity stripe, however, was not kind to the Lady Rebels overall. They knocked down just four of 16 attempts on the evening.
“We didn’t shoot very well from the free throw line,” said Hebert. “As a coach, you want to be around 70 percent so 4-for-16 is unacceptable.
“But when we needed them the most, we were able to make three big ones.”
The Lady Rebels were also able to survive despite turning the ball over nearly 20 times.
In the first quarter, it was the Lady Rebels’ pressuring defense that caused six turnovers, enabling the visitors to race out to a 19-9 advantage.
Sage Wimberly had six points in the paint and Gracie Miller knocked down a pair of long balls in the quarter.
The lead grew to 16 (28-12) late in the second quarter before the Lady Bruins went on a 10-2 run to close the gap.
A pair of turnovers by the Lady Rebels in the final minute led to back-to-back 3-pointers by Josie Ogea to trim Midland’s lead to eight (30-22) entering the half.
Bell City went on a 9-2 run to start the third quarter to make things interesting before the Lady Rebels caught their second wind.
“They have a really good guard (Ogea) and they were able to make some big plays to keep it close,” said Hebert of the Lady Bruins. “I am just so proud of our girls for being able to withstand those runs and respond with runs of our own.”
Boudreaux had a breakout game for the Lady Rebels with 15 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
“Caitlyn had a big game and she needed that,” said Hebert of Boudreaux. “We’ve been pushing her hard to step up and she did tonight.”
Wimberly and Miller also scored in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Carlson added six points, Holli Myers scored four, Marlie Boudreaux had three and Mackenzie Oliver finished with two.
Ogea paced the Lady Bruins with 19 points and Jasmyn West had 10.
The Lady Rebels return to action Friday with a rivalry contest at No. 1 Hathaway.