Leader Blues

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

SPORTS>> Lady Jackrabbits stay perfect in league

By RAY BENTON
Leader sports editor

The Lonoke ladies pulled a step closer to completing their first run through the conference schedule with a perfect record by downing Bald Knob on the road Friday night 44-26. The Lady Jackrabbits had to come from behind to get the win, but they didn’t trail for long. Bald Knob started hot, hitting a pair of three pointers to start the game and taking an 11-9 lead by the end of the opening frame. From that point, Lonoke’s defense dominated the action.

“We played a tremendous defensive ball-game for the last three quarters,” Lonoke coach Nathan Morris said. “I thought we came out ok, they just hit a couple of threes and we got into a little foul trouble. They called some fouls we weren’t used to having called. We adjusted to that and really played well.” Lonoke outscored its host 17-8 in the second quarter, and took a 28-19 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Lady ‘Rabbits gave up just seven points on two field goals, both of which came in a six-point fourth quarter. The Lady Bulldogs’ only point in the third period came on a free throw with less than one second showing on the clock. Bald Knob’s shooting percentage was bad, (23.3 percent) but they didn’t get many opportunities. Lonoke held the Lady Bulldogs to just 30 attempts.

“We limited their shots,” Morris said. “The ones they got, most of them weren’t real good looks, especially in the second half. It was great team defense. Bald Knob is a good team, we just played one of our best defensive games of the season.” Jenny Evans led Lonoke with 14 points. Calisha Kirk and Christy Shinn scored 11 each while Asiah Scribner added eight for the Lady ‘Rabbits.

The win lifted their record to 12-6 overall and 7-0 against 4A-2 competition. The boys fell way behind early, battled back in the fourth quarter only to fall short in a ?? final. The Bulldogs couldn’t miss all night. They shot 80 percent from the field in the first half and finished 20 of 28 for 71-percent shooting for the game. Lonoke trailed by as much as 12 in the third quarter, and trailed by 10 with about five minutes left before rallying to take a one-point lead with 1:45 left in the game.
Bald Knob hit two free throws to take back the lead, and Lonoke missed three opportunities to score the rest of the way.
A three pointer wouldn’t fall, nor did the stickback attempt after the Jackrabbits’ 13th offensive rebound of the game. Bald Knob got it back and was fouled.

After hitting one of two with five seconds left, Lonoke got the ball up the court and got an open look from about 12 feet, but it didn’t fall, leaving the host team victorious. “We just didn’t play well,” Lonoke coach Wes Swift said. “We got after ‘em. We forced 25 turnovers, but we played “all or nothing” defense, as I like to call it. We’re forcing tempo and when you do that, rotations have to be sprints. If they’re not sprints, you give up layups. We tried to turn it on and win it in one quarter, and we just came up short.”

Lonoke dropped to 5-2 in league play. The Rabbits and Lady Rabs played at Stuttgart last night after Leader deadlines. Look for details of that encounter in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.