Feb. 23—Two of the Empire Lady Bulldog seniors used their power and offensive scoring to beat Canute 70-62 to advance to the consolation semi-finals in regional play.
Starting their "need to win three straight" to advance to the next round this past Saturday, the Lady Bulldogs fell behind early 15-10 at the end of the first quarter.
Jaycee Porter started her record game going a perfect 4-for-4 at the charity stripe in the first quarter that also saw two buckets from Shadi Ottwell, Jasmine Millan and KK Smith.
The second quarter also proved fruitful for the Lady Bulldogs as Porter hit a three bucket and a two bucket while going 2-for-2 at the charity stripe in the second quarter.
Several other players joined her as Jasmine Millan hit a two bucket and Jade Millan, the other senior, started to join the parade with a three bucket of her own.
Outscoring their opponent 20-9 before halftime, the Lady Bulldogs led 30-24 going into the second half of action, during which Jade Millan and Porter scored all of Empire's third quarter points.
Porter had five buckets in the third quarter as she had 12 of the 17 points while her fellow senior Jade Millan had the other five points in the third.
Leading 47-39 heading into the final eight minutes of action, the two seniors Porter and Jade Millan again had a big quarter as Porter had eight points with most of them coming from the free throw line.
Jade Millan scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to help the Lady Bulldogs win 70-62. The team held off the surging Canute team to get the victory and keep their season alive.
Porter had 31 points in the game while Jade Millan had 22 points with five other players spreading out the rest of the Empire points in the game.
Lady Bulldogs' head coach Jaicee Powers felt impressed with her seniors' performance and felt like it was the spark needed to help the team to victory and move on in a win-or-go-home situation.
"Jade (Millan) and Jaycee (Porter) came to play today. They lead the team with resolve and toughness and the rest of the team responded," Powers said. "I felt like Jaycee and Jade fed off of each other today which is what you love to see as a coach. We would not have won today with our bench. There were a ton of fouls called and we battled foul trouble, each girl did her job when her number was called."
In order to continue their season to the next round, they will need to win two more games with the first coming at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 against Sterling at Burns Flat-Dill City.
The result was not available as of press time. Still, Powers she said that the team responded in game one of the regional tournament.
"So proud of this team and their toughness and the excitement they have for each other," Powers said. "Lots of support for each other."