TOWANDA — Augusta’s Emma Tipton scored the first two points of the game and it would be more than eight minutes before Augusta would score again. The Circle’s defense was suffocating in Tuesday’s 53-29 win over the Orioles.
"We executed very well in the first half," Circle head coach Brian Henry said.
Much like a track meet, Kimalee Cook sprinted down the sideline, and at one point dance along the sideline to keep the ball in play and get the easy bucket. The track superstar raced her way to the rim on multiple steals. That capped with the Lady T-Birds three-point barrage, the Orioles had no answer.
"We have three or four players who could put up 20," Henry said. "We also have five or six players who can get us eight or nine. I'd much rather rely on those who can get us eight or nine."
Cook capped off an impressive first half with a layup at the buzzer, giving Circle a 34-7 lead at the break.
Back-to-back threes from Augusta’s Ella Puckett and Hollee Slusser cut the Circle lead down to 23 with 4:58 to go in the third quarter. However, turnovers and solid offensive plays from Circle saw the T-Birds expand their lead back out to a comfortable margin. Maci Claycamp’s give-and-go action saw her explode to the rim, pushing the lead to a 25-point margin with 2:09 to go in the third.
"We definitely have a lot of girls who can step up and work," Claycamp said. "A bunch of girls can step up help if someone is having an off night."
Clayclamp lead Circle with 12 points. Cook finished with 11.
Augusta would have a mini-run to start the fourth quarter. Maycee Anderson would complete an old fashioned three-point play, bringing the deficit to only 20 with 6:15 to go in the fourth quarter. Augusta’s run would reach 14-4 run that would span the entire fourth quarter as Anderson was the catalyst of the run, cutting their deficit to 15 with 3:21 remaining.
Circle would put their starters back into the game with their lead dwindling. Cook would get to the line, making two free throws to really slow the run. The Lady T-Birds would force a turnover and turn that into a Mallory Cowman layup, ending the run.
"Credit to Augusta for not giving in and fighting," Henry said. "We weren't able to find that energy and had to finish with our starters."
Augusta falls to 1-2 on the season and Circle improves to 5-0.
Circle travels to El Dorado on Friday night for a showdown. Augusta will host Buhler as both teams round out their fall semester schedules.
Augusta – 2; 5; 8; 14 – 29
Circle – 11; 23; 6; 13 – 53
Augusta – Anderson 10; Slusser 6; Puckett 3, Peterson 3, Terry 3, Scott 2, Tipton 2
Circle – Claycamp 12, Cook 11, Cowman 10, Chase 9, Stephens 5, White 2, Meier 2, Shaults