Thursday, December 05, 2013 1:05 AM
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Bowie’s Marshauna Butler, right, looks for an opening Jan. 15 against Flowers.
Published on: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
By Daniel Kucin
The Flowers girls’ basketball team came into last Tuesday night’s match-up confident after a big win against Suitland, and the squad looked to earn its eighth win of the season. However, Bowie had other plans in mind.
Clutch shooting and stifling team defense made the difference as the Lady Bulldogs defeated Flowers, 69-62.
Flowers came out of the gates strong on the road and quickly jumped to an early lead. The Jaguars were up by six at the end of the first quarter by forcing intense backcourt pressure that led to 14 turnovers in the first half.
Bowie junior guard/forward Marshauna Butler is one of the Prince George’s 4A’s leading scorers, but Flowers managed to hold her to zero points in the first quarter.
The game was tied 31-31 at halftime, but Bowie took control late in the third quarter. Butler exploited Flowers’ weak spots in the defense and scored 14 points from the field — hitting all of her free throws.
“She started out slow,” Bowie head coach Chris Ferguson said. “She started to get going when we started to swing the ball and got some open shots. She spotted up and started to get hot as we came come out driving to the basket getting to the free throw line and knocking down free throws. Her defense on (Kyah) Proctor was just great.”
Flowers’ Kyah Proctor was still hard to contain, as she scored 21 points and grabbed rebounds to help her team grind it out late in the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, the game came down to missed opportunities. The Jaguars missed 40 free throws out of 25 attempts — and seven key ones in the fourth quarter that could have helped swing the decision in their favor. There was only a five-point differential with two minutes remaining in the game, but Bowie stood its ground and captured its 11th win of the season.
“The biggest thing that I was really impressed with the girls at halftime was if you want this, you have to go take this,” Ferguson said.
“That means playing defense and rebounding, and that’s what we did,” Ferguson continued. “If you watch that game, we rebounded that ball and we played defense. We are always used to being behind and have to play hard and catch up, and now it’s time for us to be patient and settled down to get our first buckets and then we were OK.”