Jonesboro outpaces Marion
By Chuck Livingston Sports Editor
Jonesboro has seen some tough luck thus far in their first trip through the 7A/6A-East, but don’t tell Marion. Last Friday night, the Lady Golden Hurricane invaded Patriot Arena and started the game on a 14-2 run, part of a nine of 12 showing from the field in the first quarter, and followed that up with a seven of eight mark in the third quarter en route to a 65-44 win over the Lady Patriots. The visitors sank 59 percent of their shots from the field against Marion, while the Lady Pats just 26 percent, including 21 percent through three quarters. The Lady Golden Hurricane found much of their success in transition and in the paint, but Jonesboro also hit eight of their 17 shots from three-point range. The 14-2 opening push was highlighted by Jonesboro scoring the game’s first eight points. “That was huge because we’ve had four straight Class 7A teams and that’s made it hard to get on a roll at times,” said Jonesboro head coach Jodi Christenberry. “So to come out here and hit nine of 12 in the first quarter, that was huge. I mean, as a coach, there’s not much more you can ask.” The 8-0 run forced a Marion timeout with 6:03 left in the quarter, but Jonesboro claimed its first ten-point lead of the night with 5:01 left on an Amber Hatchit lay-up. Jonesboro would lead 20-7 entering the second quarter. That lead would extend all the way to 18 points in the second act, before Marion pushed back with a run of its own. The hosts closed the first half on an 8-2 run to pull within 32-20 at the break. However, just as quickly as Marion closed the gap, Jonesboro nailed their first six shots in the third quarter and they went ahead 43-22 on a short Matte Curtis jump shot. Curtis’ basket was part of a 15-2 Jonesboro run that peaked on three different occasions at 25 points, including a 51-26 advantage after three. Jonesboro’s biggest lead of the night would be 28 points at 54-26, early in the fourth quarter. “A lot of that just has to do with shot selection,” explained Christenberry. “We got a lot of good looks around the basket, some lay-ups. We just wanted to be more selective, as well. We passed the ball really well and found the open people.” Jonesboro (11-10 overall, 1-5 7A/6A-East, 1-1 6A-East) got a game-high 27 points from guard Starr Taylor, 13 from Curtis, eight from Hatchit and seven from Khia Perry. It was Jonesboro’s second win against Marion this season, after previously topping the Lady Pats at the Collierville DragonFire Invitational on December 30. The 59-55 victory was a non-conference game. Marion (8-10 overall, 1-5 7A/6A-East, 1-1 6A-East) was led Jakyya Clay’s 13 points and 10 apiece from Kennedi Boykins and Tei Boston. The Lady Pats are on the road Tuesday night when they play Mountain Home. Marion will return home to host West Memphis on Friday night at approximately 6 p.m.