Lady Wolves’ Blake Condley misses big win over Centerpoint with Higginbotham in charge

Lake Hamilton's Hayleigh Wyrick penetrates the paint Tuesday night at the Wolf Den to score two points against Centerpoint. Photo by Louie Avery.


PEARCY, Ark. – Lake Hamilton girls basketball coach Blake Condley better hurry up and get well.

Condley and his varsity staff are currently quarantined at home. Brandi Higginbotham and Scotty Pennington are making sure he has nothing else to worry about after guiding the Lady Wolves to back-to-back wins at home against previously unbeaten Nashville and Centerpoint.

Lake Hamilton’s girls improved to 8-3 on the season Tuesday night at the Wolf Den by defeating Centerpoint, 67-41.

Brandi Higginbotham got her second win with Lake Hamilton’s varsity Tuesday. She is filling in for Blake Condley, who is quarantined at home.

Condley expected back next week

“Coach Pennington and I are having a blast, but I hope Coach Condley and Robinson will be back soon,” said Higginbotham, who coaches the seventh grade on a full-time basis. “I’m happy to help out, but I’m content being a seventh grade coach. It’s unfortunate that Blake didn’t get to enjoy two pretty good performances.

“Scotty and I had great scouting reports from Blake. I’ve also been around these girls for a long time. My daughter (Ginny) is on this team. We rarely have a height advantage, but we did tonight. The girls always play a pressure man-to-man defense, and we did a phenomenal job. That makes it easy to step in and get ready for games.”

Tuesday’s game was pretty much over after the first quarter. The Wolves scored the game’s first 12 points and led 26-7 after eight minutes.


Wyrick, Thornton lead Wolves’ offense

It came as no surprise that Hayleigh Wyrick and Aspen Thornton accounted for the fast start. Wyrick poured in 11 points in the first period, finishing with 19 in less than three quarters of action. Thornton tallied 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half.

“Aspen and Hayleigh have played together a long time,” said Higginbotham, who was Lake Hamilton’s varsity coach in 2009 when the Wolves beat West Memphis for the state championship. “They’re both natural scorers, and both are very unselfish. If this team is to step up another level it will be because they continue to work together as a team. This group doesn’t have a lot of height, but that’s something we can’t control. But the girls can continue to help each other on defense and hit their shots.”

The Lady Knights trailed 43-19 at halftime, but were only outscored 23-22 in the final two quarters. Some of that was because Higginbotham cleared her bench the final eight minutes when the Wolves scored four points.

Marlee Bright and Sade Killip led Centerpoint’s offense with 13 and 12 points, respectively. All of Killip’s points came on 3-pointers.

Lake Hamilton will host Star City’s girls Wednesday at 3 p.m.