Lady Miners come back for win

The Bauxite Lady Miners came back from a big first-half deficit to defeat the Maumelle Lady Hornets 61-49 on Tuesday in 7-4A conference action at Fred Dawson Gym in Bauxite. The Lady Miners were outscored 14-7 in the first quarter.

Down 18-9 early in the second quarter, junior Mary Crow led the Lady Miners back. Crow hit a short jump shot at the 6:30 mark to spark a 5-0 run to make it an 18-14 Lady Hornets lead with 5:20 left. Maumelle (10-6, 2-1 7-4A) scored four straight points capped by a Daysha Ross 5-foot jumper to make it 22-14 with 4:15 left.

Bauxite senior Alaina Crouse was fouled on a made basket and hit the free throw to get the Lady Miners (10-5, 3-0 7-4A) within 22-17 with 3:10 left in the half. After Meyonsha Riddles made a layup for the Lady Hornets, Crow finished out the first-half scoring with two free throws and a driving layup in the middle of the lane.

“We just didn’t handle their pressure well early,” Bauxite Coach Josh Harrison said. “That’s what we’ve been talking about, and we do a good job of it normally, but it was like we just wouldn’t run what we’ve been working on running. The second half we did the first few possessions – we did a good job of breaking their press and getting easy shots.”

Crow had 11 points and Crouse had 10 at the half.

The Lady Miners started the second half on a 6-0 run when Crouse hit a layup assisted by sophomore Allison Tackett, Crow hit a 15-foot jumper with a pass from Crouse, and Crow finished the run with a layup to give Bauxite a 27-24 lead at the 5:34 mark of the third quarter.

Bauxite led 31-26 with 3:45 left after junior Makayla Blanchett got an offensive rebound and put back, but the Lady Hornets wouldn’t go away as the score was tied 40-40 going into the fourth quarter.

After Damonique Miller made a basket for the Lady Hornets to start the fourth quarter, the Alaina Crouse 3-point barrage began. Sophomore Amy Etheridge assisted Crouse on a 3-pointer to give Bauxite a 43-42 lead with 6:22 left in the game.

“Alaina was big in the fourth quarter, hit a couple shots, and Mary handling the ball; once we got up four, we just went to a spread [offense],” Harrison said. “We just did a good job of taking care of the ball in the fourth quarter.”

Taylor Pippins hit a free throw to tie it at 43 apiece, but Crow started a 10-0 run when she hit a layup to make it 45-43 with 5:53 left and the Lady Miners never trailed again. Crow assisted Crouse on another 3-pointer to extend the lead to five points, Tackett scored a basket assisted by junior Morgan Case and Crouse finished her 3-point show with a 3-pointer assisted by Blanchett at the 4:00 mark with Bauxite leading 53-43.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have as many good 3-point shooters as Bauxite does,” Maumelle Coach Lauren Buckner said. “That can catch you up really quick. The fouls, they hurt us in the first half when we had that big lead. Some of them were questionable, but that’s the game, you have to play smart.”

Riddles scored two consecutive baskets to get the Lady Hornets within 53-49 at the 1:56 mark, but Crow assisted Blanchett for a layup to push the lead to six points, and sophomore Jessica Sorvillo put the nail in the coffin when she hit a 3-pointer from the corner with an assist from Case.

Bauxite had nine assists in the second half and shot 65 percent from the field, while holding Maumelle to 41 percent shooting in the second half. “A couple of games in Jessieville [tournament] last week, we didn’t assist the ball well enough,” Harrison said. “We didn’t do a good job passing the ball and I thought tonight, that’s one thing we did. We worked together much better tonight than we did last week.

“You shoot like that, you have a chance to win. We played great that second half. It took all of it to beat them because they’re a very good team.”

Crow led the Lady Miners with 20 points and Crouse followed with 18. Tackett scored 11 points, all in the second half, and Sorvillo added five points.

“After that first few minutes, we really had a chance to wilt,” Harrison said. “I told them [at halftime] this is our home court and to go out and make some plays. I thought the girls showed a lot more heart and effort that second half than we did in the first half. I was proud of them – definitely something to build off of.”