Tuesday, January 07, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Lady ’Rabs whip Bison

Leader sportswriter

A Presley Carter free throw gave the Lady Bison the first lead of the game, but it was all Lonoke from that point on, as the Lady Jackrabbits soundly beat Carlisle 45-26 Friday at Bison Arena in the first meeting between the two high-school teams since the 2000 season.

Carter’s free throw put the first point on the board for the home team, but the Lady Rabbits (9-4) scored the final 12 points of the first quarter to lead 12-1 by the start of the second.

Carlisle (5-6) was held without a field goal in the first eight minutes of the game, and didn’t make its first basket from the field till the 4:17 mark of the second quarter, which came on a putback by Lady Bison post Faith Walker.

Walker’s putback cut Lonoke’s lead to 15-5, and by the end of the first half, the Lady Rabbits pushed their lead to 24-7. Lonoke’s defense held Carlisle to 1 of 17 shooting in the first half, which left Lady Rabbits’ coach Nathan Morris pleased with his team’s defensive play.

“We felt like we’d be able to defend on the perimeter,” said Morris. “We knew the Walker kid would be pretty good, and we really concentrated on putting our best defender (Amanda Sexton) on her and doubling around her, while also putting a lot of pressure on their guards and I feel like we did that and did that pretty well.”

Within the first two minutes of the second half, the Lady Bison doubled their first-half field goals, both of which came on baskets by Carter, who led Carlisle with 14 points in the game.

Carter’s second basket of the half cut Carlisle’s deficit to 26-11 with 6:10 to play in the third quarter, but Lonoke’s Jarrelyn McCall put the Lady Rabbits up 20 on a short jumper near the 5:00 mark of the period, which made the score 32-12.

Lonoke pushed its lead to 36-14 by the end of the period on an Ashlyn Allen bucket in transition just before the buzzer sounded. The visiting Lady Rabbits held their largest lead of the fourth quarter at 39-16, but Carlisle’s seniors were able to trim the deficit to 19 by the end of the game.

Even though his team got the easy win, Morris still sees a lot of room for improvement.

“There’s always a lot to work on,” Morris said. “It’s the same things we haven’t been doing. We’re still standing too high and we don’t block out very well. We play straight up on offense and defense, both dribbling and defensively, and we’re still limited on our defensive rebounds.

“So there’s always a lot to work on, and those are the things we’ll have to improve on going into the conference season.”

Lonoke finished the game 17 of 45 from the field for 38 percent, and outrebounded Carlisle 28-23. Carlisle finished 7 of 37 from the floor for 19 percent, and committed 10 more turnovers in the game than Lonoke did, finishing with 24.

Allen led Lonoke with 13 points. McCall finished with 11. For the Lady Bison, Carter added six rebounds to go with her game-high 14 points. Only two other Carlisle players scored in the game. Seniors Walker and Sloane Henderson, who made her season debut after returning from an ACL injury, scored six points apiece.

The Lady Rabbits play again Friday at home against Newport. The Carlisle ladies also play again Friday, but on road at Palestine Wheatley. Both are conference games and are set to tipoff at 6 p.m.