Lady Greyhounds Come Up Short at NEA

Friday, January 1, 2016
Abby Meredith takes a shot over a Cross County defender during the Lady Greyhounds win last Wednesday in the NEA Invitational Tournament. (TD photo/Anthony Cossey)

The Marmaduke Lady Greyhounds advanced to the finals of the NEA Invitational Tournament earlier this week, then ran into a tough Izard County Consolidated squad and fell 73-58. The 'Hounds had advanced with a 62-61 semi-final victory over Bay, after winning against Sloan-Hendrix and Cross County.

Lady Greyhound race into NEA quarter-finals

By ANTHONY COSSEY, CCTD Sports Staff

Cross County

Marmaduke opened the game with a 14-2 run and never looked back as they downed the Cross County Lady Thunderbirds (2-10) 68-40 last Wednesday in the NEA Invitational Tournament in Jonesboro.

The Lady Greyhounds opened the game with back to back to back baskets from Natalie Lentz and Desirae Elder to go up 6-0. Brionna Wright got inside for a Cross County basket to make it 6-2 only to see Marmaduke reel off the next eight points to go up 14-2 with 3:01 left. Lentz hit a runner in the lane before Abby Meredith hit two free throws then went in for a lay up for the Lady Greyhounds. Lentz added two free throws for Marmaduke before Terra King's lay up for the Lady Thunderbirds ended the run making it 14-4 Lady Greyhounds. Jordan Mays hit a runner in the lane and Cross County got one of two free throws fro King and an inside basket from Brittan Belgard to make the score 16-7 Lady Greyhounds. Meredith hit one of two free throws, Elder scored inside before Mays got a steal and layup followed by a jumper in the lane as the Lady Greyhounds scored the last eight points of the first quarter to make it 23-7 at the end of one.

Meredith opened the second quarter with a running jumper for Marmaduke to make it 25-7. King hit one of two free throws for Cross County before Marmakduke got two free throws each from Meredith and Lentz followed by a three-ball from Mays from the right wing making the score 32-8 Lady Greyhounds. Keyonna Gibbs' jumper for Cross County made it 32-10 Marmaduke before the Lady Greyhounds responded with a jumper from Kelsey McCoy, a stick back basket from Lentz and an inside score from Meredith followed by a conventional three-point play from to make it 41-10 Lady Greyhounds with 4:07 left in the quarter. Wright scored off an offensive rebound for Cross County and added the free throw from being fouled to make ti 41-13 only to see Marmaduke get two free throws from Meredith and then two more from McCoy making it 45-13 Lady Greyhounds. Destiny Grady hit a jumper in the lane for the Lady Thunderbirds before Meredith hit two free throws and McCoy scored inside to extend Marmaduke's lead to 49-15. King hit one of two free throws for Cross County and Brianna Hood hit one of two for Marmaduke making the score 50-16 Lady Greyhounds. Meredith added two more free throws for the Lady Greyhounds as they took a 52-16 lead to the half.

King opened the third quarter for Cross County with a three-pointer from the left corner and was followed by back to back lay ups from Kalianna Hill and King to make the score 52-23Lady Greyhounds. Shandan York and McCoy both scored inside baskets for the Lady Greyhounds to make it 56-23 before King hit one of two free throws for Cross County to make it 56-24 with 3:55 left. York hit back to back inside baskets for Marmaduke before King drilled a three-pointer for Cross County to make the score 60-27 Lady Greyhounds. York scored inside again for the Lady Greyhounds and King hit two free throws as the quarter ended with Marmaduke up 62-29.

The mercy rule was in effect when the final quarter started with Hill going the full length of the floor for a Cross County layup making it 62-31 Marmaduke. Tabitha Hyten hit a jumper in the lane and then added two free throws for the Lady Greyhounds pushing their lead to 66-31. Hill went coast to coast for another lay up for the Lady Thunderbirds to make the score 66-33 with 3:08 left. York scored inside for the Lady Greyhounds and King scored back to back buckets for Cross County making the score 68-37 Marmaduke. Cross County got a base line jumper from Grady and one of two free throws from Wright making the final score 68-40 Lady Greyhounds.

"We have to play a whole game and we have to make our shots. We missed 21 layups in that first half and still scored 50 points," Lady Greyhounds coach Rick Smith said after the game. "We didn't play well the second half and it showed as they (Cross County) outscored us in the second half," Smith added. Asked about his next game with Sloan-Hendrix Smith responded, "They have a better record than us, so we'll need to play better. Hope we can win by one and play another day," Smith said.

Meredith led all scorers on the night with 20 points for Marmaduke as York added 14 points and Lentz finished with 10 points. Mays chipped in nine points, McCoy netted eight points, Elder had six points and Hood scored one point.

"We played better and we are getting better each game. We are so young and still learning a lot," Cross County head coach Norman Snerling said after the game. "I'm proud of our freshman we moved up, (Kalianna Hill) she did a good job today," Snerling added. "The girls came out and played good the second half, I was just telling them that. We have to play both halves like that. We are getting there," Snerling said.

King scored 19 points to lead Cross County as Wright added seven points, Hill finished with six points Grady netted four points as Belgard and Gibbs each chipped in two points each.

Sloan-Hendrix

Marmaduke (16-6) was back in action this past Monday as they downed Sloan-Hendrix 58-43 in the quarter-final round. The Lady Greyhounds were down 11-7 after one quarter of play before coming back to take a 22-21 lead at the half. Marmaduke's offense got going in the third quarter as the defense's pressure hurt Sloan-Hendrix as Marmaduke outscored Sloan-Hendrix 22-15 to take a 44-36 lead into the final quarter. The Lady Greyhounds' defense only allowed seven points in the final quarter as the offense hit eight of nine free throws in the quarter as they posted a 58-43 win.

McCoy led the Lady Greyhounds with 17 points while grabbing ten rebounds. Tabitha Hyten tossed in 12 points and had nine rebounds, Mays, Hood and Meredith each had seven points, Elder chipped in five points as York added three points.

The updated story and stats may be found in the Jan. 6, edition of the CCTD.

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