Before tip-off the Honeybears and their parents were introduced
to the crowd and Coach Jamie Anderson spoke a few words about this
talented group of 8th graders. He noted that during their 7th and
8th grade years this group had compiled a 38-2 record on the
Each of the girls also took to the microphone to thank parents,
coaches, family and fans for their support throughout the years.
Athletic Director Brent Griesham also mentioned what a great group
of girls these five are everyday at school.
Meanwhile in the stands, the fan section had decided to remain quiet
for the first ten points of the game. Honestly, that silence only
lasted a few minutes after tip-off. Madison Thomas opened the game
with a jumper, while Abigail Fitzpatrick quickly followed with two
points of her own in the paint. A couple forced turnovers by the
Honeybears press, and Skylar Hayes had two easy buckets of her own.
The Mount Pulaski defense was without a doubt too much for Bement
early on. A steal by Hayes and another easy two led to the crowd
erupting as the score was 10-0. Again the Honeybears kept the press
on and before you knew it the ball was in Thomas' hands again and
she was "feelin' it." She banked a three from beyond the arc and
that prompted fan Stan Anderson to say, "Madison with a little late
night bankin'." Meanwhile, Hayes continued to be a thorn in the side
of the Bulldogs with yet another steal and layup.
The Honeybears offense continued its domination of Bement as Ainsley
Chandler got in on the action with a nice bucket off an inbounds
pass from Hayes. These girls just move the ball so well and play so
unselfishly. Hayes scored another layup coming off a nice half-court
pass from Fitzpatrick, who has the natural ability to see the entire
court and put the ball right where she wants to. After Chandler sunk
two free throws, Hayes and Fitzpatrick took turns sinking buckets
and pushing the lead to 28-0 as the first quarter ended.
Callie Anderson was the remaining starter to get in the books
with her own layup early in the second quarter and once the lead was
34-0 Coach Anderson gave his starters a rest.
Finally with around 2:00 minutes remaining in the second quarter
Bement was on the scoreboard with their first basket of the game.
However, the subs kept the scoring going for Mount Pulaski. Olivia
Cooper scored five points coming off the bench in the second quarter
for the Honeybears and Makayla Stewart added a bucket to stretch the
halftime lead to 41-2.
Quickly into the third quarter Chandler hit a three while Hayes
hit the baseline jumper nothing but net and the foul. A couple more
baskets by Fitzpatrick and Chandler and at the end of three the
Honeybears had a commanding 52-4 lead over Bement.
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Chandler was still feeling hot from behind the arc in the fourth
quarter scoring the Honeybears only three points before the 8th
graders came out for the final time of the evening. Coach Anderson
respectfully subbed for each player so the crowd could give them the
recognition and appreciation they deserved.
The final score as the buzzer went off and the crowd tossed
streamers into the air was 55-10.
The Honeybears end the regular season with a 20-1 record. Their only
loss coming to West Lincoln Broadwell in the Logan County
Next up Mount Pulaski will host the 8th grade Regional beginning on
December 1. "We're just glad to be home," Coach Anderson said
following the victory. "It's been six years since we've hosted a
Regional," he added. Anderson also noted that Springfield Christian,
a team the Honeybears just beat 35-22 on November 15th, would also
be in their Regional. Springfield Christian had knocked the
Honeybears out in Sectionals last season.
According the IESA website Mount Pulaski is seeded number one for
the Regional, while Springfield Christian earned the number two
seed. Mount Pulaski has a bye for the first round of Regional and
will play the winner of the Buffalo Tri-City/Chester East Lincoln
game on Tuesday, December 2nd at 6 p.m.
The championship game of the 8th grade Regional will be Friday,
December 5th in Mount Pulaski.
Final scoring for the 8th grade game Mount Pulaski vs. Bement: