Lady 'Hounds Fall in NEA Title Game
The Lady Greyhounds advanced to the championship game of the NEA Tournament on Monday, only to fall to Riverside in the champion game Tuesday.
Marmaduke (14-5) trailed early in the first quarter before taking the lead and never letting it go as the Lady Greyhounds downed ICC 66-55 to reach the title game in the girls' Division I bracket this past Friday in the NEA Invitational Tournament being played in Jonesboro.
ICC, the team which eliminated the Lady 'Hounds in last year's tourney, jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Natalie Shelton hit a jumper in the lane for Marmaduke to make the score 4-2. They extended their lead to 8-2 before the Lady 'Hounds responded with a three-pointer from Shelton, an inside basket from Tabitha Hyten and a three-pointer from Scout Weatherford to make it 10-8 Marmaduke. ICC scored back-to-back basket to take a 12-10 lead only to see Natalie Lentz hit a jumper for the Lady Greyhounds followed by a three-pointer from Hyten giving Marmaduke a 15-12 lead with 3:02 left. The Lady Cougars tied the game at 18 with a three-pointer as Marmaduke got another trey from Lentz and an inside basket from Darra Johnson to make it 20-15 Lady Greyhounds. ICC hit two free throws late in the quarter to set the tally at 20-17 Marmaduke at the end of one.
Early in the second, Marmaduke stretched their lead to 25-17 as Johnson scored inside and Hyten drilled another three-pointer for the Lady Greyhounds. ICC countered with two free throws before the Lady Greyhounds got two free throws from Lentz, a three-pointer from Shelton and two free throws from Jordan Mays to make the score 32-19 Marmaduke. ICC scored inside, Shelton hit two free throws for Marmaduke, the Lady Cougars got a basket down low and Lentz scored inside for the Lady Greyhounds to make the score 36-23 Marmaduke with 3:10 left. ICC added two more baskets before the quarter ended to make the score 36-27 Lady Greyhounds at the halftime break.
Shelton opened the third quarter with one of two free throws for Marmaduke before ICC hit two from the charity stripe and connected on a three-pointer to make the score 37-32 Lady Greyhounds with 3:47 left. Shelton connected on two more free throws for Marmaduke as ICC hit one of two from the line to make the score 39-33 Lady Greyhounds. Mays hit a baseline jumper for Marmaduke followed by a three-pointer from Weatherford to stretch the score to 44-33 Lady Greyhounds. The Lady Cougars scored inside only to see Shelton drive in for a lay-up. In turn, Mays got a steal and a lay-up then added a basket inside to make the score 50-35 Marmaduke after three.
But, ICC responded and opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to cut the Marmaduke lead to 50-45 before Hyten netted a three-pointer to make the score 53-45 Lady Greyhounds. The Lady Cougars scored inside, Mays hit two free throws for Marmaduke, ICC connected on one of two free throws as Shelton hit two free throws for the Lady Greyhounds to make the score 57-49 Marmaduke. ICC made back-to-back baskets to cut the lead to 57-53 with 2:34 left and the Lady 'Hounds responded by scoring the next eight points to make the score 65-53.
Late in the game Mays hit a jumper, Lentz hit two free throws as Mays knocked-down three of four free throws on back-to-back trips to the line and Lentz added two more from the charity stripe. ICC added a late field goal to set the final score at 66-55 Lady Greyhounds.
"We've played them the last two years in the finals. We beat them in 2014 and they beat us last year. I knew it would be a good game," Marmaduke coach Rick Smith said after the game. "Our intensity was great and Hyten did a good job off the bench for us," Smith added.
Shelton led Marmaduke with 17 points as Mays added 15 points. Hyten tossed in 14 points with Lentz finishing with 10 points. Weatherford and Johnson added six and four points respectively for the Lady Greyhounds.
Marmaduke advanced to the semi-finals with a 63-31 win over BIC last Wednesday. Mays led the Lady Greyhounds with 13 points as Shelton and Lentz scored 12 and 11 points respectively. Weatherford netted nine points as Johnna Rae Baine tossed in seven points. Hyten added four points, Johnson scored three points with Meredith and Henry chipping in two points each.
Tuesday the Lady 'Hounds took on the Lady Rebels of Riverside in the Division I final, falling 43-38. Lentz and Hyten both had 11 points, as the Marmaduke girls finish as runner-ups for the second year in a row.
Chosen to the All-Tournament team were Lentz, Natalie Shelton, Scout Weatherford and Jordan Mays.
Additional details may be found in the Jan. 4, edition of the CCTD.