Friday, February 04, 2011

SPORTS>>Balance, Neighbors give boost to Lonoke

Leader sportswriter

Lonoke spread out the scoring but Cara Neighbors’ totals did not suffer in a 76-50 home victory over Marianna-Lee at the Jackrabbits gymnasium on Tuesday.

The senior guard scored 32 points to keep her average of 30 points a game in 2-4A Conference play. Neighbors scored 35 in a victory at Clinton the previous night.

The Lady Jackrabbits (14-10, 6-5) had a solid supporting cast around Neighbors with two more players in double figures while junior reserve Kaitlyn Tate scored nine points.

Junior guard Mary Davis ended the third quarter with a pair of free throws for her first points, and she came alive in the fourth quarter with 10 more points, including a pair of three-pointers.

“I don’t know if you would call that complete, because a lot of it was layups and pitch-out threes,”

Lonoke coach Nathan Morris said. “We’ve probably had better offensive games, but as far as finishing around the basket when they were given to us that way — yeah, probably complete around the basket.”

The Lady Trojans (7-14, 3-8) had 24 points from junior forward Porsche Bowers, but her teammates struggled for the most part.

Neighbors scored 13 in the first half and found plenty of opportunities to set up teammates to start the second quarter. She assisted Emily Howell on a bank shot to start the period and give the Lady ’Rabbits a 15-8 lead, and Neighbors found a wide open Tate under the basket with 3:12 left in the half to make it 31-16.

Marianna-Lee made a push in the fourth quarter and cut Lonoke’s lead to 10 before Neighbors went to work in the lane.

Neighbors, who has drawn interest from the University of Arkansas-Monticello and Arkansas Tech, got a steal she turned into a layup with 3:47 left to extend the lead to 65-49, and she went underneath the Lady Trojans’ defense for two more points and a 69-50 Lonoke lead.

The Lady ’Rabbits ended the game with a 14-1 run.

“When they got a little bit winded and a little bit tired, they could have sent all five and weren’t going to stop her,” Morris said of Neighbors. “Earlier in the game, you can’t necessarily do that as much. I think in five straight possessions, she had five straight assists.”

Junior Derricka Mays finished with five points, but it was her defensive work that made the difference early for Lonoke. Mays came away with four steals in the first half, converting one of them herself with 6:58 left in the half to put the Lady Jackrabbits up 17-8.

“Derricka Mays is a kid that has just turned into an all-out hustle kid,” Morris said. “She might make a few mistakes, but she’s going to make some great hustle plays that no one else can make.”