The Pineville Lady Mountain Lions closed the third quarter with a 14-4 run and went on to a 69-52 victory over Oneida Baptist Institute in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday.
Sophomore point guard Erica Gambrell led four Lady Lions in double figures with 20 points while senior Devin Enix added 16. Eighth grade forward Jillian Enix came off the bench to score 16 points of her own and junior Emily Mullins finished with 13.
“Erica was really our energy tonight. And we didn’t come out with a lot of energy,” said Pineville coach Matt Shafer. “Looking at her stat sheet she had seven rebounds and nine steals to go along with the scoring. She’s our primary ball-handler and she only had two turnovers.
“Jill came in and gave us some good minutes. If we can get four girls in double digits like that, it’s only going to be good for us.”
The Lady Mountaineers were led by Madison Kehler’s 24 points while Paris Obike and Ashley Booher added eleven each.
OBI kept things close early as Pineville led just 15-13 after one quarter. Behind seven points from Devin Enix, six from Jillian Enix and five from Gambrell, the Lady Lions doubled up Oneida 18-9 in the second quarter to take a 33-22 lead into the half.
“Early on our effort just wasn’t there on defense. That’s something that we need to pick up and we will,” Shafer said.
Booher scored five points and Kehler hit one free throw and a 3-pointer as the Lady Mountaineers opened the third quarter with a 9-4 spurt to get within 37-31.
Two free throws from Devin Enix followed by a steal and layup by Gambrell pushed the Pineville lead back to 41-31 by the 4:24 mark of the period. Gambrell and Mullins added baskets and Jillian Enix scored twice after grabbing offensive rebounds, including a three-point play that put the Lady Lions up 51-35 by the end of the third.
“We challenged them at halftime and they came out and responded well,” Shafer added. “They just realized that we’ve got to outwork people and we weren’t really doing it. OBI is a really aggressive team, they’ll get up in your face and get after you so that was a good opponent for us in our first game.”
A 3-pointer from Obike and a three-point play from Kehler had OBI within 53-41 with 7:08 to play, but Pineville scored the next 12 points to put the game out of reach. Devin Enix hit a 3 to make it 65-41 with 3:35 remaining. Baskets from Mullins and Gambrell gave the Lady Lions their biggest lead of the game at 69-44 at the 2:19 mark.
The Lady Mountaineers scored the final eight points to set the final margin of 17 points.
Both teams return to action on Thursday with OBI (0-1) hosting Clay County and Pineville (1-0) hosting Thomas Walker, Va., in the first game of a girls-boys double-header.
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ONEIDA BAPTIST (52) — Madison Kehler 24, Paris Obike 11, Ashley Booher 11, Mardorie Flahn 2, Lauren Nichols 2, Chinonso Ibe 2, Essence Wilson 0, Eileen Phocas 0.
PINEVILLE (69) — Erica Gambrell 20, Devin Enix 16, Emily Mullins 13, Rachel Barnes 1, Tiffany Sutton 0, Jillian Enix 16, Samantha Brock 3, Sophia Knuckles 0, Autumn Short 0, Makayla Keyes 0, Booke Sanders 0, Anna Howard 0, Sara Combs 0, Makenzie Fuson 0.