By Billy Woods WM School District
JONESBORO — LaShala Saine towered over her opponents once again here Tuesday night. In perhaps her most complete game of the season, the 6-4 West Memphis Lady Devil poured through 12 points, but she corralled a season-best 17 rebounds to go along with three blocks to lead her team to a 60-47 victory over Jonesboro. With Saine controlling the paint area, the Lady Devils demolished Jonesboro on the glass, 37-11. “I think she’s finally getting it,” West Memphis head coach Shelia Burns said of Saine. “She’s playing her role.” The West Memphis girls (14-3 overall, 4-0 in the 7A/6A-East Conference) won the game at the start of both halves. The Lady Devils led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, hitting 5 of 7 shots from the floor while holding Jonesboro (10-9, 0-4) to zero for 10. Leading only 19-15 at halftime, the Lady Devils put it on the Hurricane again to start the second half. Jonesboro went 1 for 9 from the field in that stanza for a 1 for 19 showing over the first and third quarters. “We always emphasize jumping out of the gate,” Burns added. “The third quarter, to me, is the most important quarter of the ball game.” The visitors did a solid job of shutting down Jonesboro’s top player, senior Starr Taylor, in the first quarter, but the hot-shooting standout was too good to hold for the entire game. Taylor got the Hurricane going in the second quarter by scoring 8 of her game-high 18 points. It was perhaps a good thing the Lady Devils dominated as they did in the first and third quarters because Jonesboro finally got it going in the fourth quarter, scoring 29 points on West Memphis. “We finally had to come out of that zone,” said Burns. “They were just killing our guards off the cuts. I thought our man-to-man did a really good job.” West Memphis came out determined to pound the ball in to Saine to open the game and the patience paid off. Saine, who missed two shots all night, hit half of her team’s total in the first quarter and added three more in the second quarter. The Lady Devils shot it solidly all night, hitting 5 of their 7 attempts from the field in the first quarter and 9 of 18 in the first half. AWM was 21 of 41 from the floor for the contest. Jonesboro was only able to hit for a .266 percentage for the night. Senior guard Anquanetta Chatt hit 12 of her team-high 17 points in the second half. Chatt’s backcourt mate, Sable Greer, added eight points and senior Amesha Brown scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter to help hold off the Hurricane. Niyah Townsend also scored seven for the Lady Devils. Amber Hatchett chipped in 12 points for the Jonesboro cause. The Lady Devils will be back in action Friday night at home against Little Rock Central.