Carlisle’s Lady Bison face a tough end to the regular season Friday at Class 1A Concord, but it should be a good one to get them ready for the post-season.
Carlisle is 23-3 and ranked third in Class 2A, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Concord is 21-5 and ranked fourth in Class 1A.
“They’re a good basketball team, and good basketball teams are going to play even better at home,” Carlisle coach Jonathan Buffalo said. “It’s a great game for us to end the regular season to get ready. It’s going to be a challenge. They’ve beaten some good teams, and they’ve beaten some good teams at home. This is going to be tough.”
Carlisle has won 15 in a row, having last lost to Lonoke on Dec. 16.
The Lady Bison will be the top seed from the South and Earle (22-4 and ranked second in Class 2A) the top seed from the North for next week’s 3-2A District Tournament, which starts Monday, Feb. 12, at Carlisle. As the top seed, they have a bye to the 4 p.m. semifinal Friday, Feb. 16 — and consequently a berth to the Class 2A North Regional at Marked Tree in two weeks.
First-round district tournament games are set for Monday and Tuesday with the quarterfinals Thursday, semifinals Friday and championship and third-place games Saturday.
Seedings for the North won’t be finalized until Friday, but the South seeds include Carlisle first, Brinkley second, Hazen third, Clarendon fourth and Palestine-Wheatley fifth.
Last week, the Lady Bison beat Hazen twice (68-17 and 80-27) sandwiched around a 60-47 win over England.
“We had a tough test on the road at England,” Buffalo said. “That’s a tough environment. We got into some foul trouble (four starters with four fouls). It was good for us to have to face a little adversity as we head into the post-season.”
Carlisle trailed after the first quarter, 18-15; but seized the lead in the second and led at halftime, 29-22 and after three quarters, 36-29.
“They forced us to play,” Buffalo said. “We had to compete, which was good for us. We haven’t had to do that in a while.”
Sophomore DeShaye Ricks scored a career-high 28 points. Kylie Warren added 13.
In Thursday’s game against Hazen, Carlisle led after one quarter, 30-8; at halftime, 62-14; and after three quarters, 71-21. Ricks paced four Lady Bison in double figures with 17 points. Warren added 12, Morgan Brazeal 11 and Shelby Hancock 13.