Prague girls survive and win the first round

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BETHEL ACRES — Payton Camren shot 19 points and the Prague Lady Devils mounted a solid defense to claim a 34-32 victory over the Perkins-Tryon Lady Demons on Thursday morning in the opener of the Bethel First United Bank Classic.

Both teams had deplorable shootout games as Prague were just 12 of 39 (30.8%) while Perkins-Tryon were just 12 of 45 (26.7%). Both teams didn’t fare much better from the foul line as the Lady Red Devils were just 8 out of 20 while the Lady Demons were just 3 out of 10.

It was a stalemate in the turnover department as each team committed 18. Prague was able to produce eight interceptions on Perkins-Tryon’s 18 errors.

Camren, Demi Manning and reserve Liyah Dauman had two interceptions apiece.

“I’m really proud of our team defensively. It’s an area where we’ve needed the most improvement and we have a bit of it in every game,” said Prague first-year head coach Gary Kennemer.

Camren converted 7 of 12 shots, grabbed four rebounds and assisted on two baskets in addition to his pair of steals as Prague improved to 2-1 this season and advanced to Friday’s semifinals.

Manning followed with five points and seven rebounds. Starter Maggie Smith and Tessa Cooper, off the bench, had four points each and Mattie Rich nailed two.

Smith and Cooper topped Lady Red Devil’s rebound chart with nine apiece. Prague held a considerable 44-31 advantage on the boards.

“Maggie is our energizing little bunny. Even though she made a few mistakes, she’s kind of the heartbeat of our team,” Kennemer said. “Tessa, off the bench, played very well and second-year Liyah Dauman gave us good minutes off the bench.”

Dauman did not enter the scoring column, but managed both interceptions with two assists and three rebounds.

Only four players entered the scoring column for Perkins-Tryon. Karman Jones led the way with 13 points and Arriayna Coyner was next with eight.

Prague led by eight in the fourth quarter, but saw the Lady Demons get too close for comfort. Perkins-Tryon, trailing by two, missed the front one-on-one, and again got the rebound and missed as Manning collected the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

The Lady Red Devils have played the first game of their schedule without two senior starters – Alauna Parker and Kylie Pickard.

Prague 82, Bridge Creek 59 (Boys)

With an avalanche of 42 points, Nate Lester pushed the Red Devils to the rout.

Five of his field goals were 3-pointers.

Seventeen of Lester’s points came in the first quarter and he finished with 23 at halftime. He then scored 13 goals in the third period to reach 36.

Blestin Miller scored 19 points, including three treys, for the winners. He collected 12 in the second quarter to collect 15 before the break.

Peyton Ezell recorded nine points with a trey and Trip Davis scored seven points with a 3-point conversion. Cameron Hightower completed Prague’s score with five.

The Red Devils were cooking early, edging the Bobcats by a 26-9 count in the first quarter. It was 47-34 in favor of Prague at halftime. The Red Devils led 65-49 at the end of the third.

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