Southside Batesville controlled the tempo in the second half in beating the Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits 32-24 in a 4A-2 conference game Tuesday night.
The game was close in the first half as Lonoke led 5-2 after a three-point play by Kerasha Johnson with 4:44 left in the first quarter. Southside led 10-9 after one quarter.
The Lady Southerners led 14-9 and 16-11 with 3:34 left in the first half. Lonoke tied it at 16-16 at halftime on two free throws by Amanda Sexton and a three-pointer by Savannah Holman.
In the third quarter, Southside was able to keep the ball most of the time, running big chunks of time off the clock, jumping out to a 27-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Jackrabbits cut the deficit to 27-22 on two free throws by Eboni Willis early in the fourth quarter but Lonoke wouldn’t score again until it was trailing 32-22. Riely Rowton scored on a drive to the basket with 41 seconds left to set the final score at 32-24.
"They did exactly what they wanted to do and we allowed them to do exactly what they wanted to do," Lonoke coach Nathan Morris said of Southside. "They wanted to spread us out and hopefully outrun us in a couple of positions. Even thought they probably would have, they outran us in every position. We just never got the consistent ball pressure that we wanted."
Morris said his team was reckless with the ball and wasn’t able to get second shots.
"We are going back to the drawing board, working on fundamentals," he said. "I think we thought we were farther along than we were. It’s time to go back to some basics —ball handling and blocking out, sliding our feet — things that we’ve got to do better at. That’s what we’re going to do."
Willis led Lonoke with eight points. Johnson had five. Sexton scored four. Holman had three. Callie Whitfield and Rowton had two points each.
The home conference loss was disappointing, Morris said.
"It just means we’ve got to steal one on the road that we’re not supposed to win," he said. "You’ve got to win the home games and get some on the road. Now, we’re just going to have to steal one. It just makes another road game that much more important."
Junior Lady Rabbits
The Lonoke Junior Lady Jackrabbits beat Bradford 44-32 on Monday and Stuttgart 49-30 on Dec. 6.
In the win over Bradford, Lonoke trailed 11-9 after one quarter but rallied to lead 22-13 at halftime.
Jarrelyn McCall and Ashlyn Allen led Lonoke with 14 points each. Annie Whisnant had eight. Scoring four points each were Makayla Grady and Brooke Jackson.
Against Stuttgart last week, Lonoke led 10-6 after one quarter and 22-15 at halftime.
Allen and McCall led Lonoke with 17 points each. Brooke Jackson had nine. Scoring two each were Grady, Brittany Jackson and Whisnant.