May 24, 2024
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Coming into Friday, Olton and Sudan were the two hottest teams in district 4-2A. Olton had won its sixth game in a row and Sudan five in a row to that point. With Olton taking over second place in the district, they were hungry to take down district leader Sudan and potentially position themselves for a share of the district championship.

“They’re a good team that’s been playing great,” Lady Nette head coach Benny Lockhart said. “Olton is a place that traditionally Sudan has struggled in the past.”

Nearly every seat was filled in Olton Memorial Gymnasium for the district matchup. In their previous matchup this season, Sudan came out on top 47-34.

The first quarter was a feeling out process between both squads. Olton handled Sudan’s half-court pressure well and was able to set up some good looks for shooters in the corners. For Sudan, Lockhart was orchestrating the Sudan offense taking the ball at the high post and directing traffic. She was able to set up her own shot or dish it to cutters on the baseline and wings for layups and open threes.

It wasn’t until midway through the second quarter that a team was able to make a significant run. The Lady Nettes put together a 12-4 run to expand their lead to double digits going into halftime at 26-16. Lockhart scored 11 of her 18 total points in the first half.

The second half is where the Sudan really took a hold of the ballgame. The defense was able to tighen even further and force tough shots and turnovers. The third quarter belonged to senior Gracyn Shultz, who scored as many points herself as Olton combined. Shultz led all scorers with 23 points, scoring 15 of them in the second half alone.

“Stevie garners a lot of attention from opponents, but the good thing about that is that we do have Gracyn who can just knock down shot after shot. She’s great and a pleasure to have alongside Stevie,” Lockhart said.

Sudan was able to put the game away in the final seconds of the third quarter. With two seconds left and the ball on the baseline, coach Lockhart subbed Stevie and Shultz back into the game to get a final basket and extend the lead. “We pulled them out to get them a breather and they barely had time to turn around and get back into the game because they are our shooters and it was a big shot,” Lockhart said regarding the final play of the third quarter.

Sudan ran an inbounds play and found Lockhart open at the top of the key near the volleyball line and she drained it as time expired, extending Sudan’s lead to 16 and icing the game.

Sudan would go into cruise control for the rest of the game and take down Olton 59-35 and improve to 9-1 in district.

Olton with the loss fell to 8-3 and is now tied for second place in the district with Hale Center.

Game Log

    Q1|Q2 |Q3|Q4|Final|  

Olton                    10 | 6 | 8 | 11  | 35|

Sudan                   13 | 13  | 14 | 19 | 59|

Top Performers

Gracyn Shultz: 23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals

Stevi Lockhart: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 4 steals

Mackenly Smith: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals

Ma'Rico Holland

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