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Lady Pilots Open Season With Two Victories

By Staff | Nov 30, 2016

Photos by Bruce Crawford The Pilots’ sophomore sensation Lauren Flannery hits a jumper over the Jets’ Haley Porter (23) to lead River to its second straight victory of the season.

The Pilots’ Lauren Flannery dropped in a combined 43 points in River High School’s first two games of the season, to lead the Lady Pilots to a pair of open season victories to start the season.

Flannery totaled 16 points in the Pilots’ 65-44 home opener win against Union Local, while knocking in 27 against Monroe Central, opening the season on the road in their 60-47 victory against the Lady ‘Noles.

Neither team could put the ball in the basket in the first two minutes in the Pilots’ home opener against Union Local; however the Pilots’ Riley Lollathin sank two points and a free throw to get the party started. Teammate Candace Caldwell sank her only basket of the game to give the hosts a 5-0 advantage before the Lady Jets finally got on the board halfway through the opening quarter.

River freshman Alli Long tallied two of her 14 game points before Flannery knocked down a trio of two pointers to help extend the lead to 13-2 at the two minute mark when Union Local called time-out. After the break, the Jets sank two points, while the Pilots’ only senior Bailey Caldwell rimmed out a three pointer at the buzzer to end round one with the Pilots on top, 13-4.

Union Local opened the second period with a triple, but the Pilots’ Bailey Caldwell countered with one of her own, while Flannery added two points to give River a 18-7 lead. The Jets answered with two and another triple to close the gap to 18-12.

River senior Bailey Caldwell knocks down one of her three baskets from beyond the arch to help lead the Lady Pilots to a 65-44 victory over Union Local in their home opener.

However, Bailey Caldwell countered with a basket from beyond the arch. But, Union Local knocked down a charity toss and a deuce before Bailey swiped an inbound pass and put it in for an easy two points. The Jets scored three more baskets, while the Pilots’ Flannery sank a snow bird and Long a pair of baskets off the glass. Lollathin ended the quarter with a two pointer to give the hosts a comfortable 31-21 lead at the break.

In the third period, the Pilots out-scored the Jets 21-6 with the help of their defensive pressure to extend their lead to 52-27 after three periods of non-stop action.

The Lady Jets opened the final round with a three ball, but Long kissed another bucket one off the glass for a 54-30 River lead.

The Pilots sat down their starters at the six minute mark, but returned Flannery, Lollathin and Bailey Caldwell after the Jets out-scored the Pilots substitutes, 13-6.

But, in the end it was the Pilots’ Olivia Rose that caught fire, scoring a triple and a two-pointer to give the victory to River.

Flannery led the Pilots with 16 points, while Long notched 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Bailey Caldwell sank 13 points, that included a trio of long range bombs.

In addition, Carson Reynolds provided 11 rebounds and scored four points, while Rose and Lollathin equally shared 10 points. Macey Ladyga sank three baskets, while Candace Caldwell knocked down a deuce.

Defensively, the Pilots Flannery and Bailey Caldwell each recorded four of the teams 13 steals.

Haley and Hannah Porter paced the Lady Jets with 17 and 14 points, respectively.

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River went on a 9-0 run late in the fourth period to break open a close game to win 60-47 to open the season with a win over county rival Monroe Central.

Lauren Flannery paced the Pilots with a career-high 27 points, and Carsyn Reynolds tacked on eight points and grabbed six rebounds, while Riley Lollathin chipped in with seven points to lead the Pilots attack.

The Lady Pilots will host Bridgeport tonight at 6 p.m., while traveling to Bellaire to take on the Big Reds at noon Saturday.