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Arcola/Martinsville Girls Basketball 01/05/17

Arcola's Olivia Key (14) grabs a rebound against Martinsville's Aubrey Hook, left, and Ashtyn Phillips, right, at Arcola High School in Arcola on Thursday.

ARCOLA--Thursday in a non-conference girls' basketball game at Nancy Stiff Gym Arcola scored 14 of the first 16 points and went on to win 47-36. Between then though Martinsville closed the gap to four and three points.

In the end it was a putback by Claire Miller off a missed free throw with 3:32 remaining that proved to be a big basket as it put the Lady Riders up 41-33. Morgan Hobgood followed with a bucket with just under three minutes left to put Arcola up 10.

"Getting a win is big for us, but we still have to get better," said first-year Arcola coach Kevin Hohlbauch. "

Arcola led by as much as 17 with 5:15 left in the third quarter and it looked like the Lady Riders would cruise to victory. Martinsville had other ideas, namely in the play of Audi Truelove, who scored nine of the team's next 13 points in a 13-0 Lady Bluestreak run that ended with a bucket by Desi Truelove just 2:05 after Arcola led 28-11.

Martinsville pulled to within three on the sixth of seven three-pointer by Audi Truelove, who scored a season-high 26 points. Her three made it 32-29. Arcola answered with a 15-footer by Maggie Fulton, one of nine seniors on the team. Olivia Key's bucket made it 36-29 with 6:30 remaining. 

"Defensively, I thought that was probably one of the better games we played," said Martinsville coach Josh Roberts. "We are playing to the physicality well. We are trying to get the younger girls there to be able to take the contact and to play against juniors and seniors and I think they did pretty well tonight."

The Lady Bluestreaks who have a total of six players on the team were within five, 38-33 after a basket by Audi Truelove, who entered the game averaging 12.6 points per game. 

"I was looking for someone to guard her (Audi Truelove) at the end and Claire Miller said 'I will guard her' and she went out and did a really good job," said Holbauch.

Arcola, who started the game in a 1-3-1 zone before going to a man-to-man defense after the 12-point lead, held Martinsville to just 4-of-18 (.222) shooting from the field in the first half. The Lady Bluestreaks were 10-of-21 (.476) from the field in the second half. 

Audi Truelove was 7-of-16 (.438)  from beyond the three-point line and 9-of-14 (.643) for the game. 

"She has become a leader on this team," said Roberts, who starts two freshmen and two sophomores. "With us being so young she has taken the reigns. She is wanting to be that vocal leader instead of just on the floor."

Hohlbauch said, "She is a good player. You give her space and that is what we still don't understand if they have one player that is scoring a lot of points you have to guard her."

Arcola was led in scoring by Miller with 12 points. A total of eight of the ten players scored at least three points for the Lady Riders.

"She made most of her shots (6-of-11) which is big for us," said Hohlbauch. "We were trying to play with Ryann Fishel. She had been cleared (knee injury) and thought she could go, but she just couldn't go."

Roberts said, "We are trying to correct some of the mental errors and get better every day. On defense we have been working on switching from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone (played both in the game). I like to play man, but with our limited staff that we have we have to play zone some."

Arcola forced Martinsville into 27 turnovers. The Lady Riders had 16, but only six in the second half.

Arcola was scheduled to play host to Marshall Saturday in a non-conference game, but the contest has been rescheduled for Jan. 28 at 11 a.m. due to a possible cheerleading conflict . The 5-11 Lady Riders next game is the Little Okaw Valley Conference Northwest Division opener at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond Jan. 12. 

"We are going to see what we can throw at them and we may see them again the following Monday in the division tournament if we can get by Cerro Gordo/Bement," said Hohlbauch.

Martinsville, 2-13, is to play host to WSS Tuesday in a non-conference game. 

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Sports writer

Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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