Leader Blues

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SPORTS >> JHS ladies advance in state

Allison Cox sets the ball in a 6A-East league match.

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils advanced to the second round of the 6A state tournament at Jonesboro on Tuesday afternoon with a 3-1 win over Little Rock Fair.

The Lady Red Devils (East No. 4) dominated the first two games to take wins of 25-11 and 25-12, but the Lady War Eagles (South No. 5) kept themselves in the match with a 26-24 extra-points win in Game 3.

“We rolled over them to start out with, but then we got lackadaisical and too overconfident,” Jacksonville coach Justine Rial said. “That came back to bite us. But we came back with a good team effort in the end. I guess we got tired of letting them hang around.”

Hang around is what Fair did in the first half of Game 4.

But when the Lady War Eagles called timeout with the Lady Red Devils holding a slim 16-14 lead, Rial let her team know that is was time to put it away.

“I told them, ‘alright, you gave them a good tease, now go and put it down’ and my goodness, they put it away quick after that,” Rial said. “I don’t know, they just found a way and pulled themselves together.”

Jacksonville went back to its early domination in the final points to claim Game 4 25-18 and put an end to Fair’s season.

The win pits the Lady Red Devils with the 6A-South No. 1 seed Benton.

The Lady Panthers earned a bye in the first round by winning the South title in the regular season.

Benton was also Jacksonville’s opponent the last time it reached the second round of the 6A state tournament two years ago.

“They are supposed to be very good, but we’re hoping for the best,” Rial said. “We have heard that they are like a Marion or a Jonesboro, but we played both of those teams really tough.

“As long as we can go out and play the way we know how to play and have confidence in ourselves, we should be fine.”