Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> JHS girls shock Beebe with easy win

Leader sports editor

Beebe girls’ basketball coach Greg Richey called two timeouts in the first quarter and three within 30 seconds of the second, but they didn’t stem the tide the Jacksonville Lady Red Devils rode to a 51-29 victory Friday at Badger Arena.

Beebe came out focused on Jacksonville leading scorer Antrice McCoy. She still got six points in the first quarter, but also began to find center player Tatiana Lacy open on the low post. Lacy also dropped in six points in the opening frame. A quick 9-0 run put Jacksonville up 11-2, prompting Richey’s first timeout.

Asiah Williams prompted the run for Jacksonville with three steals and two assists during the stretch.

Lady Badger Taylor McGraw hit a 3-pointer that made it 13-7 and added a free throw to trim the margin to five. But when McCoy got a defensive rebound and dribbled the length of the court for an open layup, Richey used his second of five timeouts. That basket made it 17-9 with 35 seconds left in the first quarter, and that’s how it stayed until the start of the second.

Beebe got the ball first to start the second quarter, but two possessions led to two turnovers and two easy baskets for Jacksonville, resulting in a 21-8 Jacksonville lead and the burning of Beebe’s third timeout.

But nothing much changed. Jacksonville’s pressure continued to cause Beebe turnovers. The Lady Badgers committed 12 in each half. Beebe briefly pulled to within eight points a little more than halfway through the second period. That’s when junior Desiree Williams came off the bench to spark another Jacksonville run.

Desiree Williams scored seven-straight points, then got a steal and assist to McCoy for three that put the Lady Devils up by 18, their biggest margin of the first half. Jacksonville carried that 31-13 lead into intermission.

“We got out of Desiree what I’ve wanted to get out of her,” said Jacksonville coach William Rountree. “She’s capable of scoring a lot of points and at times scoring them in a hurry. She can be quite a weapon for us, bringing a player in that can score like that off the bench.”

Kierston Miller got going for Beebe, scoring three-straight made baskets in the third quarter, but they were the only baskets the team made in the frame. Jacksonville only scored 11 in the third quarter, with Alexis James and Asiah Williams adding their names to the scoring ledger for the visitors.

Jacksonville caught the turnover bug in the fourth quarter, committing nine, but Beebe’s inability to score kept it from taking advantage of the Red Devil mistakes.

Richey got a technical foul with 1:04 left in the game over his view that McGraw was fouled several times with no call. Rountree felt the same about McCoy.

“They were pretty physical with Antrice, too,” Rountree said. “She was still the best player on the floor. She got other people involved and those people stepped up in a game she wasn’t able to give us all the points she had been.”

McCoy still finished with a game-high 20 points, about five below her season average. Desiree Williams scored 12 for Jacksonville while Lacy had eight points and nine rebounds. Miller led Beebe with 11 points.

Jacksonville (7-6, 2-0) had 15 steals and won the rebounding battle 31-22. Beebe dropped to 5-9 and 1-1.