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Lady Hornets handed loss at charity stripe

JEFFERSON — A last-second foul call and two clutch free throws from Sweet Water’s A’Keveyai Fowlkes gave the Bulldogs a 48-47 win over John Essex Friday night.

“I prayed to God,” Fowlkes said of her trip to the line. “The whole time I prayed.”

The team captain made it to the line after drawing a controversial blocking foul call on the sidelines that drew the ire of John Essex head coach Fentress Means.

Means called a timeout after Fowlkes’ first foul shot tied the game.

“I didn’t talk to (Fowlkes),” Sweet Water head coach Roosevelt Landrum said. “I talked to the rest of the girls. There’s nothing I could tell her to help her make that free throw.”

The sequence followed a run in which the Hornets used a Keaundra Bennet layup, Jamie Johnson steal and Brittney Gray bucket to knot the game at 45-45 with 49.3 seconds to go. John Essex took the 47-45 lead on a Dondrea Johnson layup with 19 seconds remaining.

“I thought that was a tremendous effort on their part,” Means said of his players. “We’ve got a ways to go, but we’re going to get better. I can see that.”

Sweet Water’s Lakeisha Johnson led all scorers with 14 points. Michelle Lockett added 13 while Fowlkes finished with nine.

Dondrea Johnson and Jamie Johnson each scored 11 for John Essex. Nayesha Daniels ended the night with nine after playing much of the second half with four fouls.

Means said his team will continue to work on hitting free throws after it missed three in a row while trailing inside of two minutes to go.

“By them being young, that has a lot to do with (the struggles),” Means said. eplained.