Friday, November 28, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> JHS ladies drop pair at WMHS

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils dropped to 3-4 on the season with a pair of losses at the West Memphis Classic earlier this week. The Lady Devils fell 53-40 to the host team on Monday, then dropped a 43-34 decision to Greene County Tech on Tuesday.

Jacksonville held third-quarter leads in both games, but mistakes down the stretch led to the losses.

“West Memphis is very good and I thought we played pretty well overall,” said Jacksonville coach William Rountree. “They’re very long, big guards and big post players. They were able to create some mismatches and take advantage of that.

“I didn’t think we played well on Tuesday. That’s a game I really think we should’ve won to be honest with you. But it’s good to get exposed to these different styles of play early, especially for a young team like this one.”

Senior point guard Antrice McCoy led Jacksonville with 12 points against West Memphis while Desiree Williams added nine and Asiah Williams scored seven.

McCoy also scored 12 points against GCT, but no one else had more than six. Jacksonville played Tuesday’s game without starting sophomore guard Alexis James, who missed with problems relating to asthma.

The Lady Red Devils tried to press early, but came out of it and worked on its half-court game at a tempo more to the liking of the Lady Eagles.

“We couldn’t get a lot out of our press,” Rountree said. “So we made an effort to focus on our half-court execution.”

Jacksonville executed it well and seemed to have an advantage going into the fourth quarter.

With the lead, the Lady Devils pulled the ball outside to try and force Tech out of its sagging zone defense.

The switch to man gave the more athletic Lady Devils better opportunities to get the ball to the rim for high-percentage shots, but they weren’t falling.

“We pulled them out of their zone, we just missed some layups,” Rountree said. “It’s obvious where we’re at, it being early and only having one experienced player. We’re going to have games like this. We knew we’re in a tough part of our schedule and I told them it’s good to get exposed to these different styles early on.”

Jacksonville’s girls and boys host West Memphis on Tuesday. Girls tip off at 6 p.m.