Leader Blues

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

SPORTS >>Lady Devils start with win at Hall

By GARY PRICE
Special to The Leader

The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils opened the 2007 basketball season with a lot of new faces and a win, beating Little Rock Hall 62-52 at Hall. The Lady Devils are very young with only 1 senior on the roster, and counting heavily on sophomores to contribute immediately.

If Friday night was any indication, this team at the very least we compete hard every night out. Jacksonville played with intensity the whole night, in the end it paid off.

Lady Red Devil coach Katrina Mimms was glad to get a win, but thought her team could have played better.

“Like the old saying goes, an ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” Mimms said. “That’s kind of how I felt about this game. I thought we played better in the jamboree. We didn’t take care of the ball, we turned it over too much. The bottom line though is that we won by 10. A win is a win any way you can get it.”

Junior Tyra Terry opened the campaign with a very nice three point basket with 7:29 to play in the first and staked Jacksonville to a 3-0 lead. Terry had a great first period of play, scoring eight points and grabbing three steals and a block to lead the Lady Devils to a 15-7 first quarter advantage.

Jacksonville played its starters the entire first quarter and appeared to be in control of the game at that point. The Lady Warriors were able to take advantage of Jacksonville’s inexperience, forcing numerous turnovers in the second frame. Hall outscored Jacksonville 19-11 and tied the game at 26 heading to the locker room.

The Lady Devils came out of the locker room very determined as they picked up the intensity and added some defensive pressure. Jacksonville held a 30-26 after a nice steal by Junior Brittany Smith. The Lady Devils were paced in the third by the Senior Shanita Johnson’s eight points, and some nice play off the bench by Tiara Clark. The quarter close with the Lady Devils holding a 42-39 advantage.

The nerves appeared to be gone from the Lady Devils in the fourth quarter. They played their best when it counted the most. The bench really came thru in the closing frame. Jacksonville controlled the boards in the fourth and pushed the ball nicely getting several easy buckets. Jacksonville pushed the lead to 54-43 with 3:30 to play after Clark converted a layup off a nice pass from Kita Walker. Jacksonville was in control at that point as Hall was never able to get closer than eight points the rest of the game.

While Mimms wasn’t completely pleased with the execution, she recognizes that wins are important, especially to such a young team.

“We had as many as four sophomores on the floor at one time,” Mimms said. “They were pretty successful and ninth graders, and success breeds success. We’re still probably going to take some on the chin, but we’re going to get some crucial experience on the varsity level and we’re going to get better and better.”

Jacksonville had a very balanced attack placing three in double digits, Shanita Johnson had 16 while Tyra Terry and Tiara Clark contributed 12.

Jacksonville opened its home schedule Tuesday night hosting the LR Central Tigers.