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By GOOSE LINDSAY
It wasn't easy, but the Oliver Springs Lady Bobcats improved their District 4-A record to 4-0 Friday night with a 49-42 victory over Oneida.
Friday's story was a familiar one for the Lady 'Cats as for the fourth straight game, the Lady 'Cats had a fight on their hands early only to gain momentum down the stretch.
"I thought we gave good effort tonight and I thought we rebounded the ball really well (Oliver Springs outrebounded Oneida 29-18)," Lady 'Cat head coach Michelle Christopher said following her team's seventh win of the season. "We did a lot of different things tonight and some of the stuff that we've been working on is coming around."
The Lady 'Cats opened the game on an 8-3 run, but they would not be able to add to their lead in the first half as Oneida stayed within striking distance throughout the first two periods of play. Oliver Springs would lead 12-8 after eight minutes of play then both teams scored seven points in the second period to make the score 19-15 at halftime.
Most of Oliver Springs' points came from in close in the first half as posts Brittany Lively, Kasi Bilyeu and Mariah Ollis combined for 12 points.
The third quarter opened with the Lady Indians on the warpath. Oneida scored the first five points of the third period and eventually used a 10-2 run to take a 25-21 lead with 4:51 left in the third quarter.
Oneida would hold a 27-24 lead when the Lady 'Cats finally put together their biggest run of the night. Starting with a basket from Bilyeu and a three-pointer from Kayla Christopher, Oliver Springs closed the third period with a 13-2 run to take a 37-29 lead into the final eight minutes of play.
The run continued at the start of the fourth period as Kelsey Hall picked up a steal and lay-up while Christopher added four free throws to make the score 43-31 with 5:12 left to play.
Down but not out, Oneida had one run left. The Lady Indians used an 11-4 run to pull within 47-42 with 54 seconds left, but Oneida would not score again as Oliver Springs held on for the seven-point victory.
Christopher led Oliver Springs on the night with 18 points, four steals and three assists. Christopher was also a perfect eight of eight from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Hall was next in line with nine points, five assists and three steals while Lively added eight points. Ollis led the Lady 'Cats with a game-high 11 rebounders.
The Lady 'Cats will play Monday against Spanish Fort, Ala. in the opening round of the 2008 Walton Log Invitational in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Oliver Springs (49) Christopher 18, Lively 8, Harper 4, Ollis 4, Hall 9, Bilyeu 6.