Mustangs sweep season series over Bears

Published 10:42 am Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Isabella High School’s varsity girl’s basketball team won its fifth consecutive game on Jan. 30 defeating Billingsley High School 43-28. The Bears showed vast improvements from the team’s first matchup of the season on Nov. 28 that saw the Mustangs scamper to a 62-38 win.

“We picked up some surprising wins, but it is just a process like tonight,” Billingsley coach Angela Jones said. “The girls are catching on, and it is a building process … Even though the score did not show we won, we really won for us and we are still growing.”

Isabella led 16-12 after the first quarter and outscored Billingsley 13-5 to hold a comfortable 12-point lead at halftime.

Lexi Higgins led all scorers with 17 points and knocked down five 3-pointers. Fellow guard Amelia Fjeldstad posted 16 points and Stella Traywick had six points.

“We play better when we play fast, but you cannot always do that,” Isabella coach Jared Day said. “Sometimes you have to slow it down and get something going inside.”

Billingsley kept the score steady throughout the second half but could not do enough to shrink the lead down. Day said the Mustangs’ defense in the game was a key component in holding the game steady throughout.

The game was Isabella’s first on-court action in six days after their last game on Jan. 24.

“We got a little cold after shooting it well in the first half,” Day said. “We tried to slow it down and work it inside and work on a few things that we struggled at.”

Billingsley had a balanced scoring attack with Lisa Smedley tallying nine points, Caydin Green with seven points and Mary Jones with six points. Kaliya McCary and Megan Chandler each hit a 3-pointer.

“Their confidence has gotten better, and that will (continue to grow) come with time and experience,” Jones said. “I keep telling them ‘if you have the confidence in yourself, then your teammate will have confidence in you.’ It has gotten a lot better.”

Day was complimentary of Billingsley’s improvement from the school’s first matchup on Nov. 28.

“Their zone defense was really tough to get the ball inside on,” Day said. “Hats off to them, and they have really improved since the first time we played them.”

Isabella will host Maplesville High School on Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. in their next game. Billingsley hosts Verbena High School on the same day at 5 p.m.