The Bauxite Lady Miners dropped their final game of the Alumni Girls Classic 61-51 to the Little Rock Central Lady Tigers on Saturday at Little Rock Hall High School.
Bauxite went 1-2 in the tournament, defeating Lonoke 60-41 in the first round and losing to Little Rock Parkview 69-36 in the second round. Parkview won the tournament when they beat North Little Rock 45-37 in the final.
Parkview went to the 6A State Championship last year and Central lost in the first round of the 7A playoffs last year, so the Lady Miners (2-2) had some tough competition to begin the year.
“We played back and forth with them for quite awhile and they ended up running away from us a little bit at the end of the first half,” Bauxite Coach Josh Harrison said about the Central game. “We just weren’t scoring the ball. We missed some shots that we normally make. They were running us off our threes and we turned it over way too many times in the first half again.”
In the Parkview loss, Bauxite committed 35 turnovers in the game and even though they had turnovers against Central, they did a better job of handling the pressure.
“We improved from the pressure,” Harrison said. “They put a little pressure on us. We did a lot better job handling the pressure. We still had turnovers, but its from us playing too fast. We have to play fast, but under control.
“The first half, they were really physical and it freaked us out; like we didn’t know how to play. The second half we were like if they’re going to be physical, we’re going to be physical back. We started being a lot stronger. It was anybody’s ball game with about three or four minutes left.”
Bauxite was down 25-14 at the half and the Lady Miners got within two points a couple of times, but they missed shots that would have tied it. Like the first half, it was back and forth until the end when leading scorer junior Mary Crow and junior Makayla Blanchett fouled out.
“Makayla got a pass in the post, they had a smaller girl on her, she went up strong and it just rolled off the back of the rim,” Harrison said. “That would have tied it with a little over two minutes left.”
After scoring just three points in the first half, Crow scored 16 in the second to finish with 19 for the game. Crow shot 12 of 15 from the free-throw line and also contributed four steals, four assists and three rebounds.
Bauxite shot 33 percent from the floor including 5 of 17 from the 3-point line. The Lady Miners shot 23 of 30 (77 percent) from the free-throw line.
Sophomore Allison Tackett had nine points, Blanchett and senior Alaina Crouse had seven points each, and sophomore Amy Etheridge had a good game defensively off the bench and finished with four points. Crouse had eight rebounds to lead the Lady Miners.
“There were times tonight where they were trying to scramble us,” Harrison said. “We would try to force stuff to happen and kick to people instead of setting stuff up and running our sets; got in a little bit of a hurry. That’s just inexperience; a lack of playing time for some of these kids.”
The Lady Miners travel to Poyen when they face the Lady Indians tonight. The junior girls and junior boys will play starting at 4:30 and the Lady Miners will play after.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Harrison said of Poyen. “It’s going to be tough to go down to Poyen and win. They’ve got talent too, so it’s going to be another good test for us; a road game against a really good team. We look forward to it though.”
The Bauxite boys (2-0), which beat the Bismarck Lions 50-43 on Thursday, will play after the girls.