Lady Blue Devils playing for state tournament lives on Tuesday
By Billy Woods WM School District
LITTLE ROCK — The West Memphis Lady Devils are down to their last strike in order to qualify for the 7A state tournament. The Lady Devils played strong for a half against a powerful Little Rock Central team here last Friday night, but the Lady Tigers used their size and experience to pull away in the second half for a 52-38 win over the West Memphis girls. At 1-4 in 7A-East competition, the Lady Devils (15-10 overall and 5-7 in the 7A/6A-East Conference) can still clinch a state tournament berth if they defeat North Little Rock at home Tuesday night. “We can still get in,” Burns said. “But we had our chances tonight.” Burns’ 2-3 zone defense confused Central (23-1, 11-1) for the entire first half as West Memphis’ 6-foot-4 senior center LaShala Saine anchored the scheme by blocking three shots and discouraging any activity in the paint area. The hosts took a 4-0 lead by the 4:52 mark of the first quarter, but they didn’t score again from the field until Kiara Williams hit a short jumper with 3:26 to play in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the Lady Devils held steady and pulled into a 16-16 tie at halftime. “For 16 minutes we ran that zone to perfection,” said Burns. “In the second half (Central) went to a more guard-oriented offensive look and they got us out of position with that.” The second half was decided more or less by West Memphis’ inefficiency on the offensive end. The Lady Devils didn’t score until 3:38 left in the quarter. Meanwhile, Central rolled up a double-digit lead (26-16). Alaysia Ready poured in 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half to lead the Central girls. The Lady Tigers led by as much as 16 in the fourth quarter and coasted the rest of the way. West Memphis’ only other field goal in the third quarter came on a turnaround jumper by junior center Ty Bullins. Senior Amesha Brown paced the Lady Devils with 9 points while Sable Greer added 6. Others to contribute included Saine, Niyah Townsend and Nikki Higgs with 4 points apiece and Anquanetta Chatt with 3. Central also got 11 points off the bench from Bre’Amber Scott while Sydni Williams poured in 9.