By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
The Azalea Middle School seventh and eighth grade girls' basketball teams pulled off two entertaining wins over the Myrtle Crest Bobcats Wednesday.
In the seventh grade game, the Bruins needed a last second bucket by Sami Young to beat the Bobcats 34-33.
"I'm happy to get the win in such a close game," Coach Kristy Kleespies said. "We played pretty well defensively and they did a good job of following directions down the stretch."
After trailing 13-11 after the first half, the Bruins rattled off eight straight points to start the third quarter and pulled out to a 19-13 lead.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bruins still held a five-point lead, but the Bobcats then went for six straight points over the next two minutes to take a 31-30 lead.
The Bruins' Lakota Hatcher retook the lead for the Bruins as she put back an offensive rebound for the 32-31 advantage.
After the Bobcats regained a one-point lead, Young put the Bruins up for good as she knocked down the short jumper on a designed inbounds play.
On the next Bobcat possession, Brandi Rodgers made a steal on the defensive end to secure the win for the Bruins.
Christy Reynolds led the Bruins with 14 points on the night while Young had six points and 14 rebounds.
Hatcher and Lynette Ochoa had four points apiece while Josey Glazebrook had three, Kaitlin Mitts had two and Gemma Cowan had one.
Cowan also played extremely aggressive defense, especially in the second quarter, where she tied up the ball handler a number of times, forcing a jump ball.
In the eighth grade game, the Bruins were able to outhustle the Bobcats in a fast-paced 55-43 win.
The Bruins and Bobcats went back-and-forth in a run-and-gun style first quarter, with the Bobcats leading 17-15 after the first quarter.
The pace of the game slowed considerably in the second quarter as the Bruins held the Bobcats to four points and took a 23-21 lead going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Bruins used their quick transition game to explode for 19 points in the quarter, boosting their lead to 10, 42-32, at the end of three.
The Bruins played smart basketball in the fourth quarter and held on to their commanding lead to bring home a 55-43 win.
"They did an awesome job," Coach Lori Cooper said. "They worked together and did a great job pushing the ball. All that running in practice really paid off."
Maysea Young had an incredible game for the Bruins as she poured in a game-high 29 points to go along with eight rebounds.
Young did a great job running the floor and getting ahead of the pack while teammate Kambri Coleman did a good job getting her the ball in transition.
Coleman also had a very productive day as she dropped in seven points, pulled down eight rebounds, grabbed seven steals and handed out five assists.
Kodie Hebert added eight points and nine rebounds while Brianna Juarez had five points, Dani Woodcock had three and Shantell Goodwin had one.
The next game for the Bruins will be against Gold Beach at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Gold Beach.