LAUREL HILL — There was plenty to celebrate at Homecoming 2012 for the Laurel Hill girls basketball team Friday night.
Proud alumnus and parents packed in the Hobo gymnasium to watch pregame activities. With the formalities out of the way, the Laurel Hill girls went to work against Rocky Bayou Christian.
Led by Rudy Williams’ game-high 15 points, Laurel Hill made rolled to a 36-20 win over the Knights.
Laurel Hill coach Scott Varnum was happy with the victory, but, like most coaches, he saw plenty of room for improvement.
“A win’s a win and we will take it on Homecoming night,” he said. “They (the Hoboes) played hard. They didn’t finish inside like they should have.
“They had chances, but they didn’t finish, but all-in-all they played smart. Rudy played her best game of the season offensively. She’s got some work to do defensively, but she played a good game tonight.”
The game was tight throughout the first half as neither the Hoboes or the Knights could mount a run and pull away.
Laurel Hill (2-3) took an early 3-0 lead on a free throw by Caitlyn Clark and a basket on the inside by Grace Reese. But Rocky Bayou battled back and at the end of the first quarter the teams were tied at 6-6.
After being held scoreless in the first quarter Williams got untracked with a long 3-point basket to open scoring in the second quarter. Lauren Wright, who led Rocky Bayou with nine points, answered the William’s three with one of her own.
Rocky’s only lead of the game came on a Claire Gunter basket with 6:44 left in the first half that put the Knights in front 11-9.
Neither team scored for more than four minutes. When the drought finally ended it was Bri Owens scoring for Laurel Hill with 2:12 left in the half to tie things up at 11-11.
A J‘Hanae Griffin basket with 22 second left in the half put Laurel Hill up 13-11 and the Hoboes led the rest of the way.
Williams hit her second 3-pointer of the game 15 seconds into the third period. Baskets by Bridget Zessin and Owens pushed the lead to 20-11 with 6:08 left in the third.
The closest the Knights got the rest of the way was five points at 21-16, but five quick points by Williams pushed the Hobo lead to 26-16 at the end of the third.
Laurel Hill outscored Rocky Bayou 10-4 in the fourth quarter to pull away for the win.
Williams was followed in scoring for the Hoboes by Zessin’s seven points. Griffin added six points and Owens 4 points.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524