The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils faced what may be their toughest test of the conference season Tuesday night at Little Rock Christian.
The test didn’t turn out to be so tough after all as the Lady Devils wound up with a 67-47 win, but did trail at halftime.
"We played just about the worst first half of basketball we could have played," said Jacksonville coach Katrina Mimms. "We probably had four chances on each of our first four possessions and missed them all. We just couldn’t shoot."
That poor shooting half allowed the Lady Warriors to take a 29-24 lead at halftime. Jacksonville was in a bad position early in the third quarter as well. Jessica Jackson picked up her second and third fouls within seconds of each other early in the quarter and sat until the fourth.
The rest of the Lady Red Devils rallied at the points however, and went on a run to take the lead and eventually take control of the game in the fourth with Jackson back on the court.
"Having to sit Jessica certainly isn’t a good thing, but it did force some of the other girls to step up a little more," Mimms said. "We ended up with four girls scoring in double digits and that’s good."
Jackson was still able to get her’s and led the way along with Shakyla Hill with 17 points. Markita Bryles scored 16 points, while Keke Alcorn added 11 points.
Jacksonville will now gear up to take on the North Pulaski Lady Falcons Friday night. The Lady Falcons are a scrappy bunch who will definitely give the Lady Devils their all in the rivalry showdown. Coming out on top of Jacksonville - one of the state’s top teams with one of the country’s best players - will be a longshot however.
The entire 5A-Central conference is down this year as far as girls basketball goes. Jacksonville is the only team in the league with a winning overall record. The Lady Devils are 8-4 overall and 2-0 in conference.
"It concerns me a little about how ready we’ll be once the state tournament gets here," Mimms said. "But I have to admit that not worrying about a Parkview or Hall or Searcy or West Memphis or Jonesboro every single night is kind of nice."