Lady 'Hounds Fall in Regional, Set for State
Marmaduke (29-7) led after the first quarter of the game only to see Earle take over in the second quarter as the Lady Bulldogs handed the Lady Greyhounds a 54-43 loss in the semi-finals of the 2A North regional tournament this past Friday in Marked Tree.
Earle got on the board first with a jumper before Reesa Hampton scored inside and followed with a three-pointer to make it 5-2 Marmaduke. The Lady Bulldogs scored the next five points to go up 7-5 as Hampton canned another three-ball to make it 8-7 Lady Greyhounds with 4:33 left. Earle hit a jumper only to see Emma Foster score three straight baskets in the paint to give the Lady Greyhounds a 14-9 lead. The Lady Bulldogs converted a conventional three-point play and hit two free throws before Foster scored back to back baskets inside to make the score 18-14 Marmaduke after one.
Foster opened the second quarter scoring for the Lady Greyhounds with a basket inside before Earle scored nine straight points to make it 23-20 Lady Bulldogs with 3:56 left. Foster scored inside for Marmaduke, Earle converted an old-fashioned three-point play before getting back to back steals and layups to make it 30-22 Lady Bulldogs. Hampton hit one of two free throws before scoring inside as the Lady Greyhounds cut the lead to 30-25 at the half.
Earle stretched their lead to 34-25 with back to back scores to open the second half before Hampton hit one of two free throws for Marmaduke to make it 34-26 Earle. The Lady Bulldogs scored inside, Foster scored inside for the Lady Greyhounds, Earle netted a jumper as Foster got inside for another Marmaduke basket making it 38-30 Lady Bulldogs with 3:20 left. Earle closed the quarter on an 8-2 run with Hampton hitting two free throws for Marmaduke as the Lady Bulldogs took a 46-32 lead to the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs got a fast break layup early in the quarter before Marmaduke got one of two free throws from Natalie Lentz, a jumper for Karlie Gilliam and a basket inside from Lentz to make it 48-37 Earle. The Lady Bulldogs hit one of two free throws and scored inside as the Lady Greyhounds got a basket in the paint from Angel Johnson and one of two free throws from Foster to make it 51-40 Earle with 3:27 left. Hampton hit one of two technical free throws after an Earle player was whistled for the technical foul making it 51-41 Lady Bulldogs. Earle pushed the lead to 54-41 before Johnna Rae Baine hit a jumper in the lane for Marmaduke with 58 seconds left setting the final score at 54-43 Earle.
“They (Earle) have a pretty good team,” Marmaduke head coach Rick Smith said after the game, “We shot 7 of 22 from the free throw line, had 21 turnover and missed 10 layups and still played them close. I think we are just as good as them,” Smith added. “We'll take the next few days to get some nagging injuries healed and be ready for the first game at state,” Smith said.
Foster scored 19 points to lead Marmaduke as Hampton tossed in 15 points. Lentz finished with three points with Gilliam, Johnson and Baine all scoring two points for the Lady Greyhounds.
The Lady Greyhounds came back on Saturday defeated Brinkley 60-43 to gain the number three seed from the region. Meredith led Marmaduke with 27 points as she hit six three-pointers. Marmaduke earned a spot in the state tournament with a 69-30 win over Des Arc in the opening round. Foster led the Marmaduke with 16 points as Lentz, Hampton and Johnson all scored 13 points each for Lady Greyhounds.
Marmaduke (30-7) will play Johnson County Westside in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 at White County Central high school located north of Judsonia. All of the state basketball brackets may be found online at www.ahsaa.org