Lady Blue Devils fall in semifinals

West Memphis to finish run tonight at 6 p.m.

By Billy Woods WM School District

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Riding a burst of enthusiasm and energy, Lady Devil Anquanetta Chatt sank a layup with 4:07 left in the second quarter to give her team an 18-11 lead over powerful Memphis Central. And that’s when the tent folded for the West Memphis girls, who were outscored 49-20 the rest of the way here Tuesday night in a 60-38 semifinal loss in the Dragon Fire Invitational. Despite being outhustled for loose balls and rebounds the rest of the way, West Memphis head coach Shelia Burns refused to say her team was out of gas. “Honestly, no, it was not (a lack) of conditioning,” Burns said. “Adversity hit us and we just didn’t respond well to it at all.” The loss drops the Lady Devils to 10-2 overall heading into tonight’s consolation game against White Station at 6 p.m. The Lady Devils came out hungry and focused against the traditional Memphis power once coached by former Lady Devil Niki Bray, who built the program to national prominence. West Memphis led 10-4 after one quarter and then held a pair of seven-point leads in the second quarter. But the Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Devils 14-2 in the final four minutes of the first half to take a 25-20 lead at halftime. “We had some girls (pouting) in the dressing room at half and complaining about the officiating,” said Burns. “But I thought the game was called fairly on both ends. We were only down five points at that point and I think we lost our composure.” Central hit four three-pointers late in the second half and pulled away from the West Memphis girls, leading 38-26 after three quarters and then increasing that margin to 55-32 with 3:04 left in the fourth quarter. “We haven’t seen that kind of breakdown in a long time, and this is not a great time for it to happen right before we starting conference play,” said Burns. “We still have not beaten a high-caliber team, in my opinion, and for us to be considered on that level we have to beat teams like Central and (Fort Smith) Northside.” Chatt led the West Memphis scoring with 12 points while junior center Ty Bullins tallied seven points. LaShala Saine and Amesha Brown pumped in six points apiece and senior Sable Greer scored four. Memphis Central was paced by Jireh Washington with 19 points while Miyah Barnes hit for 10.

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