Augusta beats El Dorado 46-37 for first win

Lionel Tipton

EL DORADO—El Dorado and visiting Augusta waged an all-out battle Friday night, each team trying to get its first victory of the season.

After a close first half, after which the Orioles had a slim 20-19 lead, Augusta held El Dorado scoreless for nearly the first eight minutes of the third quarter during a 10-0 Orioles run.

That helped Augusta pull away for a 46-37 victory.

After the pivotal third-quarter drought, the Wildcats (0-6) were never closer than seven points the rest of the way. They did manage a steal and lay-in by Presley Johnson and Regan Lattey’s three-pointer in the final minute to make the final margin more palatable.

Orioles coach Rainey Maloy is no stranger to rivalry games with El Dorado. As an Augusta player 15 years ago, Maloy (then Rainey Nickel) frequently was a thorn in the Wildcats’ side.

“That’s the best third quarter we’ve had this year,” Maloy said afterward. “They came out and became aggressive, we pressed, we did a little ‘junk’ defenses, and they just played great that quarter.”

Augusta (1-5) outscored the Wildcats in the third period 18-6, and Maloy said she has seen a steady improvement in her young team.

Both teams came out eager to nail down their first victory of the season, and the Wildcats, after a brief 5-3 lead, still managed to remain toe-to-toe with Augusta, which never led by more than four points in the first half. As the half reached the final minute, senior Brooklyn Motter hit two free throws to cut the deficit to 18-17.

But the Orioles answered with a field goal by junior Chloe Wells with 47 seconds till halftime. The Wildcats came right back, and Gibby Baker’s lay-in got El Dorado to within a point at the break.

Augusta came out firing in the second half, and Ella Puckett’s three-pointer was followed by a short shot in the lane by junior Sydney Scott. Scott then banked in a lay-in, and junior Allie Timberlake capped the run with a three-pointer from the right side.

Shots just wouldn’t fall for the Wildcats, who missed some point-blank as well. Neither team took care of the ball well, and turnovers frequently quashed any momentum

“We’re young; we have only three seniors and only one them starts,” she said. “These first few games, we’ve gotten better in almost every game, and that’s all we’re looking to do right now is to get better and get competitive.”

The Orioles will play host to another young team in Andale on Tuesday night.

Augusta;8;12;16;10 – 46

El Dorado;5;14;4;14 – 37

Augusta: Timberlake 3 (1) 1-6 10, Scott 4 0-2 8, Puckett 1 (2) 0-0 8, Anderson 1 (1) 0-2 5, Williams 1 (1) 0-0 5, Wells 2 0-0 4, Carrell 2 0-0 4, Peterson 1 0-0 2, . Totals 15 (5) 1-10 46.

El Dorado: Camien 4 (2) 0-0 14, Motter 2 (1) 2-2 9, Lattey 1 (1) 3-4 8, Parsons 1 0-0 2, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Baker 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 (4) 5-6 37.