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Defense helps RHS girls reach W-N semis

Olivia Ellis (12) of Hardin-Central blocks the shot of Richmond’s Mallory Cole (11) in Tuesday’s first-round game at Wellington. Ellis had 14 points, but the Lady Dawgs dropped a 41-28 decision to the No. 3 seeded Lady Spartans. (Photo by Russ Green/Richmond News.)

Olivia Ellis (12) of Hardin-Central blocks the shot of Richmond’s Mallory Cole (11) in Tuesday’s first-round game at Wellington. Ellis had 14 points, but the Lady Dawgs dropped a 41-28 decision to the No. 3 seeded Lady Spartans. (Photo by Russ Green/Richmond News.)

By Russ Green-Sports Editor

An aggressive Richmond defense helped the Lady Spartans get past Hardin-Central 41-28 Tuesday night in the first round of the Wellington-Napoleon Invitational. In their first meeting ever, the Lady Spartans forced the Lady Bulldogs into committing 22 turnovers.

“The girls did a nice job defensively tonight,” Richmond coach David Littrell said. “We pressured the ball very well, especially in the first half.”

Richmond, now 10-6 for the season, scored the game’s first 7 points, but Hardin-Central, now 9-6, battled back to cut the deficit to 11-8 entering the second period. An Olivia Ellis bucket to begin the second quarter pulled the Lady Bulldogs to within a point, but Richmond answered with a 19-1 run. Hardin-Central got a pair of free throws by Mary Penny to end the quarter with the Lady Spartans taking a 30-13 cushion into the break.

Richmond did not get its first score of the second half until Jenny Simpson’s basket with 96 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but the Lady Spartans still managed to take a 35-19 lead into the final 8 minutes.

Hardin-Central had one final charge remaining as Ellis hit for 5 points, including a 3-pointer, to help the Lady Dawgs begin the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run. Once again, the Lady Spartans came back to close out the game on a 6-2 run.

The complete story is in the Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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