West Memphis to semis against worthy opponent
By Billy Woods WM School District
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — The Lady Devil bigs just couldn’t be stopped Monday in their second-round game of the Dragon Fire Invitational. West Memphis outrebounded Bartlett 46-19 on the way to a 73-61 victory. In winning their second straight game in the tournament, the Lady Devils (10-1) will play tonight at 7:30 against the winner of Monday night’s late game between powerful Memphis Central and Arlington, Tenn. Bartlett had no answer inside for West Memphis’ trio of LaShala Saine, Amesha Brown and Ty Bullins, and the Lady Panthers also couldn’t corral Lady Devil senior point guard Sable Greer, who at 5-foot-5 was the team’s leading scorer (19 points) and rebounder (10). “We were very physical on the boards,” said Lady Devil head coach Shelia Burns. “We were all over the offensive boards.” Ball movement was also a plus for the Lady Devils, who had 20 assists on 30 made baskets. The team shot a solid .491 percentage (30 of 61) from the floor. Greer, who was one of three players with four assists, teamed up with fellow backcourt player Anquanette Chatt to put Bartlett in an early hole. A Greer three-pointer with 4:50 left in the first quarter gave West Memphis a 12-3 lead while Chatt contributed seven of her 13 points in the first quarter to give the Lady Devils a 25-14 lead after one quarter. “Our guards played well and our posts were on the boards,” Burns added. “That was a lot of offensive firepower we showed today.” The West Memphis girls never trailed in the game and led by double digits for much of the afternoon. On the few occasions Bartlett sliced the deficit to single digits, the Lady Devils answered the call each time. The Lady Devils led 46-36 at halftime, but Bartlett cut it to a seven-point game (48-41) early in the third quarter. But the WM answered with 9-0 run sparked by a three-pointer from Chatt to run the score to 57-41. Then, with three West Memphians sitting on the bench with four fouls (Saine, Chatt and Greer) in the fourth quarter, the Lady Devil reserves were able to weather the storm. “This is what non-conference is all about,” Burns stated. “Our two main guards were sitting and I sent in two junior guards (Keara Williams and Nikki Higgs) and we ran our spread offense to perfection.” Bullins, a junior, chipped in two key baskets in the fourth quarter to keep Bartlett at bay, the latter of which came at the two-minute mark to give West Memphis a 71-56 cushion. Senior Amesha Brown had 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals while Saine had 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. The Lady Devils gave up seven three-pointers in the first half, but tightened up the defense on the perimeter in the second half, giving up only two bonus balls. Bartlett still managed to sink 9 of 19 from three-point land. Jessica Jackson led Bartlett with 17 points while Elizabeth Williams netted 14. “The road gets tougher for us in this tournament from here,” said Burns. “Central is really good and Arlington is also a strong team.” Arlington features 5-10 senior Ashley Lee, the daughter of former Blue Devil baller Greg Lee and the niece of the great Keith Lee. According to Greg, his daughter is being recruited by a few Division 1 schools, including Arkansas State.