Lady Miners drop opening game of classic

The Bauxite Lady Miners came back from their week and a half break and lost 60-49 to the Magnet Cove Lady Panthers on Tuesday in the Jessieville Christmas Classic in Jessieville.

“We didn’t play really well,” Bauxite Coach Josh Harrison said. “Magnet Cove played with a lot of effort and intensity [Tuesday] and we didn’t match theirs today.”

The Lady Miners (9-4) didn’t have a problem scoring in the first quarter finishing with 19 points, but defensively, Bauxite couldn’t stop Magnet Cove, allowing it to score 18 points in the opening quarter.

“Missed a lot of close shots in the first quarter,” Harrison said. “I thought we could have extended our lead out a couple times. We just didn’t shoot it well. Attribute it to Magnet Cove’s defense and being a little sluggish coming out of the break.”

Bauxite defeated Magnet Cove 61-55 two weeks ago in Bauxite, but the Lady Miners lost their 29-28 halftime lead in the third quarter when they were outscored by 10 points.

“Third quarter we played absolutely horrendous,” Harrison said. “We played terrible. We just stood around on defense.

“It went from a one-point lead at halftime to a 19-point deficit. We just didn’t have a whole lot of fight in us [Tuesday].”

Harrison took out all of his starters in the third quarter due to Bauxite’s lack of defense and played the second- and third-string players for about three minutes in the quarter. The starters returned in the fourth quarter, but their play didn’t improve enough to win.

The Lady Miners cut their deficit to seven points with less than four minutes in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Panthers pulled away by hitting their free throws and some tough shots despite junior Mary Crow’s 11 points in the fourth quarter. Crow hit three 3-pointers in the quarter and finished with 24 points for the game. She added six rebounds, four assists and three steals, but found little help from her teammates.

“Alaina [Crouse] couldn’t find her jump shot today,” Harrison said. “I was disappointed a little bit in our effort.

“[Magnet Cove] came out with a chip on their shoulder after we beat them at home a couple weeks ago. They wanted it more than we did today and we just have to be able to find that inner toughness, regardless of whether you’re in school or playing in a tournament, playing in conference, whatever. We just didn’t have it today. They just outplayed us.”

Bauxite’s lone senior Crouse scored nine points, and sophomore Allison Tackett and junior Makayla Blanchett each finished with seven points. Junior Morgan Case had nine rebounds off the bench.

“They rebounded the ball well,” Harrison said of Magnet Cove. “I thought that was something we didn’t do. [Rebounding] is something we’ve done pretty well in the past, but they got some second-chance opportunities and they cashed them in today. We didn’t do a very good job of rebounding the ball today and that’s one of the keys of being successful.”

The Lady Miners take on the host Jessieville Lady Lions today at 4:15 and Harrison said Bauxite’s play must improve drastically against Jessieville.

“We’ve got to give much more effort [today],” he said. “If we don’t give better effort, we are going to get run out of there. It will be embarrassing. We’ve got to give better effort than that.

“We’re young. It’s one of the things I’ve been worried about with a young team is coming in and having some those nights when things aren’t falling and you get a little frustrated, they make a run and how do you respond? We didn’t respond well.

“Jessieville is very, very good and we have to be more sound than we were [Tuesday], be able to shoot the ball a little better, take care of the ball when they put pressure on you. We’ll test some character [today] I guess.”