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Stevens reaches 2,000, Lady Cats roll to SCA title

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In a basketball game which had history written all over it, the Thayer Lady Bobcats achieved more than just a scoring milestone for one of its most outstanding players -- the team also clinched the South Central Association Conference title for the second straight year.

Thayer's 82-38 road victory over Cabool at The Pit Feb. 19 gives the Lady Cats an 19-3 record and a perfect 7-0 mark in the SCA.

And while the outcome of the contest was never in doubt, the real headline on this night was Thayer's do-it-all guard, Micah Stevens.

Needing only six points to reach 2,000 points for her high school career, Stevens was off the mark with her first couple of attempts at getting a hoop.

But that didn't last long at all.

After getting a deuce and then nailing a 3-pointer, Stevens earned a trip to the free throw line, after stealing the ball and being fouled on the layup.

From the charity stripe, the ball ripped through the nylon net to the cheers of the Lady Bobcat fans that had made the trip to Cabool.

The officials stopped the competition to allow the standing ovation from Thayer fans to engulfe The Pit.

Lady Cat Head Coach Cliff Hawkins presented Stevens with a game ball and a banner made especially for her. Cabool fans joined the Thayer fans in the cheers and standing ovation. Stevens asked for her teammates to join her for the photo, before the game resumed.

Stevens becomes only the second Lady Bobcat in school history to reach the 2,000-point marker and was only 97 points away from overtaking the THS all-time points scoring leader, Megan Underwood.

As for the game itself, the Lady Cats had a little case of the jitters the first couple of trips up and down the court, but a steal on defense and layup by Kaley Hebert got the team on track.

With the game continuing after Stevens' celebration, the Lady Cats went on a roll, both offensively and defensively.

Points came from everywhere, as Kristen Earls nailed a 3-pointer from the corner.

Sara Riley found the bottom of the net, also. With ball rotation, quickness and drive, Stevens racked up 20 of her game-high 34 points before the half, helping put the Lady Cats on top 45-19 at intermission.

Thayer did not let up in the third period, as Samantha Oaks and Hebert came away with steals and points. Kristen Earls came up with the ball, after stepping into the passing lane, then dropped another 3-ball on the other end.

The Lady Cats outscored Cabool 31-10 in the third, advancing the lead to 76-29 for Thayer, en route to the big conference-title grabbing victory.

The Lady Bobcats took to the road Feb. 16 for an SCA contest at the Eagles Nest, home of the Liberty Lady Eagles.

And this was all Thayer, all the way, with the Lady Cats rolling to a big 69-45 victory.

Stevens had a huge night with a game-high 34 points for the Lady Cats, ranked ninth in Class 2 hoops.

The Lady Bobcats defense pounced on the Lady Eagles quickly, with steals by Steven, turned into points, steals by Kaley Hebert (eight points) to Stevens for points and steals by Kristen Earls (five points) to Hebert to Stevens for points, and Thayer jumped on top to stay.

With a 20-12 margin at the end of one, the Lady Cats kept the heat cranked up on D.

Liberty out-rebounded the smaller Lady Bobcats, but just could not contain Micah Stevens. She ended the first half with 22 points and Thayer held a 38-22 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Lady Cats cooled down just slightly on the offensive end with only 16 points in the third, but the defense held the Lady Eagles to 8 points in the frame, giving Thayer a 54-30 lead after three.

Liberty had no answer to climb out of this hole and Thayer cruised to a 69-45 win.

Samantha Oakes finished with 11 points for Thayer, while Leslie Shaw finished with five.

Lacey Hawkins logged three points and Lauren Hargus netted two.

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