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Wayne Post
  • Gausney-Jones powers Bishop Kearney to title against Lyons

  • The road to a Section 5 Class C2 title came to an abrupt end Wednesday evening at Gates-Chili High School for the No. 2 Lyons Lions as they fell to No. 8 Bishop Kearney by the score of 51-38. Tourney MVP Skylar Gausney-Jones exploded for 20-second half points to pace the Lady Kings to their crown.

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  • The road to a Section 5 Class C2 title came to an abrupt end Wednesday evening at Gates-Chili High School for the No. 2 Lyons Lions as they fell to No. 8 Bishop Kearney by the score of 51-38. Tourney MVP Skylar Gausney-Jones exploded for 20-second half points to pace the Lady Kings to their crown.
     
    The Lions took an early 4-0 lead after buckets by Gator Shields and Ja’Teria Wells, and held the Lady Kings scoreless for the first 5:37 of the game until Kharysma Bryant hit a 3-pointer to close the gap to 4-3. Tied at five, Gausney-Jones gave the Kings their first lead of the night hitting her first two of a game-high 26 points. Bishop Kearney led at the end of the first 7-5.
    Lyons got a bucket by Ryenn Smith, a 3-pointer from Taylor DiSanto and four free throws from Wells to build a 14-8. Sheila Hawkes closed the gap to 14-10 on a pair of freebies and then dropped in a bucket with 4:24 left in the first half, bringing the Lady Kings to within two, 14-12. Bishop Kearney knotted the match at 16 and then went up by two as Gausney-Jones hit back-to-back buckets. Shields made a strong drive to the hoop and tied the game, and then with 9.4 seconds left, Wells hit her fifth and sixth consecutive foul shots of the half putting the Lyons up 20-18. The Kings managed to tie the game at 20-20 with 02.2 left as McCullough made her only bucket of the period.
     
    “My coaches used to tell me have to hate losing more than you love winning. And they don’t like to lose,” Bishop Kearney coach Kevin Sheppard said. “We started off very bad the first quarter. I think we missed nine layups. We had to weather the storm and we had to pick it up on the defensive end. We were able to do that and close it up and tie it at halftime.
    “I told the girls at halftime we’ve got to speed the pace of this game up,” he continued. “I didn’t think they were very deep. I knew the longer and faster we could play fast, the better off we would be. Skylar was huge in the third quarter, she took the game to a totally different level in the third quarter.”
     
    As the third quarter got underway the Kings scored the first eight points, jumping out to a 28-20 lead in a mere 1:14 into the quarter and prompting Lyons coach Eric Kuhn to call a 30 second timeout. Lyons managed to close the gap to 28-25 on DiSanto’s second triple of the evening and a bucket by Hannah Lester, but those would be all points that the Lions scored the rest of the quarter. The Kings went on to take a 35-25 lead to end the third as Gausney-Jones tallied all but two of her team’s 15 points.
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    “I’m real proud of how the girls did this year,” said Lyons coach Eric Kuhn. “I told the girls to take care of the basketball and rebound. The bigger court I think wore us out a little. You’ve got to give Kearney a lot of credit, they played great pressure defense and they were relentless on the boards. Starting out everything was going our way. Gator was getting the boards, we were boxing out. But I’ve seen BK play a couple times this year and their pressure defense really picks up in the third and fourth quarters.”
     
    Even though the Lions scored the first three points of the fourth, they couldn’t overcome the deficit caused by Gausney-Jones in the previous period. The Lady Kings (14-8) went on to the 51-38 victory.
     
    “Coach told us at halftime to pick it up and keep playing good defense and to take the lead,” Gausney-Jones said. “I feel great that we won two years in a row and I’m happy I could lead my team to this victory, I knew we could do it.”
     
    Gausney-Jones was named the Tournament MVP scoring 20 points in the second half, while McCullough netted nine points and was also named to the all-tourney team.
     
    Shields and Wells both made the Class C2 all-tournament team for Lyons (18-3), with Shields collecting 13 points, 20 rebounds and 3 blocks, and Wells added 8 points. DiSanto netted three 3-pointers for the Lions.
     
    Red Jacket’s Bailey Hixson and Harley-Allendale Columbia’s Kayli O’Keefe also made the all-tournament.

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