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At 2-5 on the season, the Altus High School Lady Bulldogs desperately needed something to go right. Two straight losses to begin the season were followed by consecutive victories before the Lady Bulldogs entered Christmas break on a three-game losing streak.
On Saturday, something finally went right for Altus as the Lady Bulldogs defeated Cache, 61-48, to move to 3-5 on the season and 1-0 in 2019.
The outcome could have been much different if not for the phenomenal game from sophomore Lakysia Johnson who poured in 27 points. With Altus needing to close out the game in the fourth quarter, Johnson put the team on her back and scored 12 of the Lady Bulldogs’ 16 fourth quarter points.
Johnson’s game is one she will not soon forget, but another major factor in the Lady Bulldogs’ success was the team’s free-throw line performance. In 14 attempts at the line, Altus missed just one. In Altus’ five losses, free throw shooting had proven to be an area that cost the Lady Bulldogs’ several victories.
Perhaps Altus’ performance at the free-throw line against Cache is something that can be replicated against the Lady Bulldogs’ other opponents in 2019. If Johnson continues to have games like she had on Saturday, Altus may become a solid contender in Class 5A girls’ basketball.
Although Johnson’s game was impressive, she wasn’t the only player on Altus’ roster to have a big game. Jordan Benway also had a solid game as she shot her way to 14 points. Besides Johnson and Benway, only four other players scored at least once for the Lady Bulldogs.
Kaylen Carroll finished with seven points while Annie Petzold added six on a pair of threes in the first quarter, Brianna McQuiggan added five and Jerzey Ybarra finished with two.
Cache’s Kyla Bonnarens finished with 22 points in the game while Kloe Heidebrecht added 12 points. But Cache’s two top scorers didn’t have much help in the game as the next closest player was Kayla Niedo who finished with seven while three other players combined to score seven.
For Altus, it was a much-needed win and might help boost the confidence of the team as the Lady Bulldogs head deeper into 2019. On Tuesday, the Lady Bulldogs hit the road to take on the lowly Duncan Lady Demons. Duncan has struggled to get much of anything going this season but scored its fourth victory of the season on Friday when the Lady Demons defeated Noble, 47-41, in overtime.
The results of the Duncan game were not known by press time. The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to Weatherford for a three-day basketball tournament. After that, the Lady Bulldogs will take on Clinton and Elgin on the road before returning to Altus on Jan. 22 for their first home game of 2019 against Cache.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.