BEN HUR — When the J.I. Burton girls played Lee High at Norton, the Lady Raiders managed to prevail without star forward Ra’Shelle Miller.
In the rematch at Lee High Wednesday night, the Lady Raiders had Miller at crunch time but the Lady Generals didn’t have coach Stephanie Ward.
Ward drew bang-bang technical fouls and was ejected from the game — a career first — with less than three minutes remaining in the game. Burton went on to collect a 52-45 victory to remain unbeaten.
In the boys clash, the Raiders took a 46-44 win over the Generals in a mutually cold-shooting affair.
Ward, who said she had to “really work” for the only two technical fouls she’d previously received during her 11 seasons as a head coach, will be forced to sit out Friday’s Clinch Mountain District home showdown with Lebanon unless she successfully appeals the ouster between now and then.
“I get into games, but I don’t get ugly,” Ward said. “I feel that was very undeserving.”
The game was tied at 44-all when Brianna Stallard and Jalan McPherson engaged in what first appeared to have been ruled a jump ball on Norton’s end of the floor. The call was overruled, however, with a foul assigned to McPherson.
Ward disputed the call, drew a ‘T’ from the 26 seconds.
A press-beating pass to Stallard for a fullcourt layup and a couple of free throws from the mighty Miller — who finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds and five steals — lifted Burton out of harm’s way during the final 14 seconds.
“This was a great learning experience for us, coming on the road and playing in a hostile environment,” said Burton coach Mike Goforth. “It was a really good challenge for us.”
Stallard had 14 points to lead the Lady Raiders (11-0).
Makenzie Cluesman had 11 points, 13 rebounds for the Lady Generals (6-5) while Erin Haines had 11 points and five rebounds. Morgan Miles had 10 points overruling official and was warned to sit down. Ward was seated when she got the second technical and was tossed.
“He kept telling me to sit down. When I sat down, I told him, ‘I’m sitting down. Go ref the game.’ Then he gave me another one. I asked him what that was for and he threatened to give me another technical,” Ward said.
Stallard only hit two of her four free throws, however. With assistant coach R.C. McDavid at the helm, the Lady Generals missed a chance to win it at the foul line, hitting only one of six attempts in the final and nine rebounds.
Timmy Goins had 14 points, four steals and three assist to lead the Raiders (2-2) with Sawyer Turner putting up 12 points. Riley Maggard grabbed 12 rebounds.
“This was a real ugly win. But I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty,” Burton coach Aaron Williams said.
Craig Copeland had 16 points and six rebounds to lead the Generals (4-3), who shot an atypical 6-of-36 from the floor in the first half.
“If they were all contested shots, I could see some argument to that point. But when you’ve got open looks after open looks and you can’t make a shot, there’s nothing I can do,” said Lee coach Steve C o l l i e r.comments powered by Disqus