The Belleville East Lancers tandem of Bryce Dowell and B’Aunce Carter proved to be more than the Belleville West Maroons could handle Tuesday in a Southwestern Conference game.
Among the top 10 scorers in the St. Louis area, Dowell broke loose for 26 points and Carter torched her former teammates for 19 points as the Lancers rolled to a 65-42 win in a Southwestern Conference game.
West (8-10) managed to keep it close for nearly three quarters. Getting solid play from junior center Shaniah Nunn (14 points) and freshman guard Reese Bennett, the Maroons trailed just 38-30 in the final seconds of the third quarter.
But when Lancers senior Nyah Ford hit a 3-point shot as time expired, East had an 11-point lead.
The Maroons, who committed 29 turnovers, would get no closer the rest of the night.
“We got off to kind of a sluggish start. Their (West) defense was packing it in and we weren’t hitting a lot of shots and I thought on defense we were a little slow early in the game. But in the second half we picked it up on defense, got some steals and wee able to pick it up,’’ Lancers coach Amanda Kemezys said..
“B’Aunce just had a great game and we kind of fed off her and when we kind of broke it open there in the fourth quarter, we just had some great unselfish passes which was great to see.’’
The win lifts the Lancers to 10-9 for the season. While Dowell and Carter continue to lead the charge, the Lancers could have another key player back on the floor before the playoffs begin. Senior guard Kaylah Rainey, who has missed the entire season after undergoing open heart surgery in November, could be back in uniform by the end of this month.
Ranked as one of the top point guards in the nation, Rainey signed a letter of intent to attend Northwestern University this fall. The 5-foot-9 senior was in street clothes on Tuesday but was on the floor before the game dishing out passes in preseason warmups.
“That’s the word on the street,’’ Kemezys said when asked about Rainey’s comeback in the near future.
But on this night it was Dowell and Carter who helped the Lancers handle the Maroons. The duo combined for 14 of the Lancers’ 19 points in the third quarter when they expanded their lead from three to 11 points.
Dowell, playing with poise and confidence, tallied 10 of her 26 points in the period.
“We’ve known Bryce was a scorer since the seventh grade. But we’ve been so guard heavy the last few years that she really hasn’t had the chance to show what she can do until this year,’’ Kemezys said.
“She is playing under control and is very unselfish. She loves making passes to her teammates to score and making them happy.’’