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Pirate girls basketball tips off season, rallies to edge Hornets in Holiday tourney 

Bluffton to face rival AE in title game Friday night

By Cort Reynolds

The Bluffton girls basketball team opened a new season with a furious 53-50 comeback win over Cory-Rawson in the semifinals of their annual McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Wednesday night, November 22.

The Pirates trailed 39-24 at halftime after C-R exploded for 24 points in the second period.

But the Pirate girls turned up the defense and held the Hornets to just 11 points in the second half while scoring 29 themselves to rally for the hard-fought victory.

Bluffton post Ayla Grandey netted a game-high 28 points on nine baskets and nine free throws to pace the victors.

The Pirates (1-0) will now face local league rival Allen East in the championship finals Friday evening at approximately 7:15-7:30 p.m. The Pirate girls knocked off AE 55-52 last year in the title game.

The Mustang girls soundly defeated Arlington 56-38 in the first semi final Wednesday evening. AE senior wing Savana Brooks led all scorers with 26 points. Junior guard Rilynn Jones tallied 15 to surpass the 1,000-point barrier.

The consolation game Friday tips off at 6:00 p.m., with the title game starting 15 minutes after its completion.

Bluffton trailed just 15-14 after the first quarter vs. Cory. Grandey netted nine points in the opening stanza, while Macy Schaadt added a triple and five markers. 

C-R’s Morgan McVetta tallied seven points in the first period to help the visitors to a one-point edge. Chelci McVetta then took over in the second stanza by pouring in nine of her 10 points on four baskets.

Morgan McVetta added five more markers to help Cory build a 15-point intermission lead after the visitors authored a 24-10 second quarter. Grandey scored six points in the period, and made all four of her foul shots to keep Bluffton within striking distance.

The Pirate girls came out of the halftime locker room fired up as their tightened defense helped them outscore C-R, 14-6. Grandey tallied three baskets and two foul shots to pull the hosts within 45-38 heading to the final quarter.

The Pirate defense held the hornets to just five points, all by Morgan McVetta, in the fourth period. Grandey sank a trey and a deuce to score five points in the period. 

Schaadt and Blair Utendorf added four markers apiece as the Pirates out-pointed C-R 15-5 in the final eight minutes to cap off the big comeback.

Schaadt scored a career-high 13 points in the win, while Utendorf added all eight of her markers after intermission. Grandey converted nine of her 10 foul shots and added a triple en route to her career-high point total of 28.

Morgan McVetta drained four treys and scored 20 points to pace the Hornets. Nine of the 19 C-R baskets came from beyond the arc. 

Bluffton shot 11-17 from the foul line (65 percent) to outscore Cory (3-5) by an 11-3 count at the charity stripe. The Pirates sank 18 two-point goals and canned a pair of trifectas.


Bluffton 53 (1-0)

Cross 1 0-0 2, Dearth 0 0-2 0, Schweingruber 0, Warren 1 0-0 2, Schaadt 5 2-4 13, Utendorf 4 0-1 8, Grandey 9 9-10 28. 

Totals: 18-2/11-17/53. 3-pointers: Grandey 1, Schaadt 1.


C-R 50 (0-1)

Price 2 0-0 5, Kempf 2 2-3 6, Duffman 1 0-0 3, Stuckey 1 0-0 3, C. McVetta 4 1-2 10, M. McVetta 8 0-0 20, Keuneke 1 0-0 3.

Totals: 10-9/3-5/50. 3-pointers: M. McVetta 4, Keuneke 1, Stuckey 1, Duffman 1, Price 1, C. McVetta 1.

1 2 3 4 F

Blf 14 10 14 15 53

C-R 15 24 6 5 50


In the first semifinal bout AE led the Red Devils 13-7 at the half, and extended the margin to 30-15 at halftime. The Mustangs (1-0) won a closer second half, 26-23.

The versatile and consistent Brooks netted 13 points in each half, while Jones scored 11 of her 15 markers in the first half. 

The pressing Mustangs helped force 22 Arlington turnovers.

Amelia Alexander led Arlington (0-1) with 10 points. She scored eight points in the second stanza, including two triples.

The Red Devil girls will play Cory-Rawson (0-1) in the third-place game Friday at 6:00 p.m.

1 2 3 4 F

AE 13 17 10 16 56

Arl 7 8 14 9 38


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