Greyhound Basketball Update
Marmaduke's girls team is playing like, well, Marmaduke again.
After splitting their first four games of the season and uncharacteristically losing a home game against Riverside, the Lady Greyhounds had reeled off five straight wins heading into a Tuesday showdown against Sloan-Hendrix.
Marmaduke (7-2) had returned the fewest number of players of any team in its conference or district, said coach Rick Smith, so the pedestrian 2-2 start to the season was not a complete surprise. However, Smith appreciates where his team has come in the couple weeks since losing at home for the first time in 35 games on Halloween night.
"Were not turning the ball over," said Smith. "It took a while to gel and learn to play together. We're starting to play better."
The Lady Greyhounds picked up big wins against Harrisburg and Bay in the Marmaduke Classic over the weekend. In a 64-61 win against the Lady Bulldogs, Marmaduke held on during a tight contest throughout, leading 29-25 at halftime before Harrisburg closed to within 44-43 by the end of the third quarter.
Jordan Mays led the Lady Greyhounds with 19 points while Natalie Shelton added 15 and Natalie Lentz finished with 14 points.
A night later, Marmaduke gained a measure of revenge for a season-opening loss at Bay by defeating the Lady Yellowjackets 63-52 at the Marmaduke Classic. Tabitha Hyten recorded a double-double for the Lady Greyhounds with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Lentz paced Marmaduke's scoring attack with 17 points, while Mays finished with 15 and Scout Weatherford chipped in with 10 points.
Marmaduke shot a blistering 88.9 percent from the free throw line, making 32 of 36 attempts, while Bay connected on 23 of its 28 free throw attempts. The Lady Greyhounds jumped out to a 13-2 lead by the end of the first quarter as Bay struggled to find the basket early.
The Marmaduke win streak was extended to five games Monday in a 72-20 win against Northeast Arkansas Christian Home Educators. Hyten finished with 21 points and nine rebounds to finish just shy of back-to-back double-doubles. Lentz added 11 points while Shelton and Johnna Rae Baine finished with eight points apiece in the balanced scoring attack that complemented Hytein's dominant performance.
The Marmaduke junior high squad is starting to draw comparisons within the community. An 11-0 start to the season will do that.
The Junior Lady Greyhounds are not just winning - they are dominating opponents this season. Their closest margin of victory came in a 16-point win against Sloan-Hendrix earlier this season and in their two games at the Marmaduke Classic over the weekend, they carried leads of 51-9 and 50-6 into the fourth quarter..
"We've got pretty good guards and we shoot it well," said Smith. "And we defend well. It's one of the best junior teams we've had."
The Junior Lady Greyhounds dispatched Harrisburg 51-10 on Friday, with Emma Foster leading the way with 17 points and both Reese Hampton and Heidi Robinson adding 10 points apiece.
Marmaduke defeated Piggott 54-18 the following day at the Marmaduke Classic, with Foster tallying 16 points and Hampton adding 12.
Marmaduke will play host Bay 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Bay Junior High Tournament. If they win, the Lady Greyhounds will play again Friday at 5:30 p.m, The championship game is slated for 2 p.m., Saturday at Bay.
The senior Lady Greyhounds were slated to play at Sloan-Hendrix on Tuesday, but a final score and stats were not available as of press time.
Meanwhile, Marmaduke benefited from balanced scoring as four players scored in double figures in a 58-47 win against Sloan-Hendrix last week.
Corey Burks finished with 13 points for the Greyhounds, while Derek Agee added 11 points and 15 rebounds and both Bryson Horton and Billy Elder finished with 10 points apiece in the win.
"We did a good job moving the ball," said Marmaduke coach Justin Ward.
The win lifted the Greyhounds' record to 4-3 on the season before the schedule offered a week off heading into a game scheduled for Tuesday, again taking on Sloan-Hendrix.
"It was good for us. We needed some time off," Ward said on Tuesday. "They got some rest and I think they're ready to play tonight."
Jacob Caraway added six points in the Greyhounds' win against Sloan-Hendrix, while Jonathan Webb finished with six points.
The Junior Greyhounds fell 44-42 in a tight contest against Sloan-Hendrix last week.
Bradley Horton paced Marmaduke with 13 points, while Houston Bradshaw added 10 points and Austin McCoy finished with nine points as the Junior Greyhounds fell to 5-6 on the season.
Marmaduke's junior boys also lost to Riverside 53-36 last week. Clay Farmer led the Junior Greyhounds with eight points.
The Marmaduke junior and senior boys, after playing at Sloan-Hendrix on Tuesday, are slated to play Friday at Buffalo Island Central and Monday at East Poinsett County before returning home to host Hillcrest next Tuesday.