By Justin Rust
Of the Commercial Staff
The Pine Bluff girls basketball team turned up the pressure on Dumas for a 69-29 win on Saturday to claim the Southeast Arkansas Invitational.
The victory keeps the Fillies’ (4-0) perfect season intact, and coach Loy Moore is happy with the team’s progress to begin the season.
“Lot of young kids who are growing up,” he said. “Very pleased, 4-0, take Thanksgiving off, come back and get better.”
Three of the four wins came during the Invitational. Pine Bluff beat Lonoke, which finished third, on Monday, and then took down Little Rock Christian, which finished second, later in the week.
“Felt like we played the three best teams in it,” he said. “That’s what we wanted to do, knew those teams would be good. Early, with this young of a group, I wanted them to play good competition and I thought we took a step forward today.”
Pine Bluff got after Dumas (1-2) from the start. The Fillies forced 10 turnovers and had a 20-2 lead by the end of the first half.
“I thought the pressure early got us out to a real good start,” Moore said. “An up-tempo game, which is what we like to play.”
Pine Bluff did not slow down either, as Dumas turned the ball over 12 more times combined in the second and third quarter.
By halftime, Pine Bluff had a 40-12 lead, but Moore was happier with what the team did in the third quarter to take a 60-21 advantage.
“Was pleased with everything except for a 3-minute stretch there in the second quarter,” he said. “Started shooting too many jump shots. I don’t want to shoot too many threes in transition and we were doing that. Once we got back to the things we needed to, started to take control of it.”
Dumas had 24 turnovers total. Pine Bluff’s biggest lead was 64-21 in the fourth quarter.
Dumas coach Glory Slater said her team just has to learn the transition from junior high to senior high this year.
“Now, they don’t learn any skills and don’t try to get the skills past junior high because they didn’t need them,” she said. “Really thought we would be a good team this year, and I have a good assistant coach and they respond well in practice.”
Jasmyn Eckermann led Pine Bluff with 13 points and Jada Taylor added 12. Kye Richardson chipped in nine points.
For Dumas, Mona Mitchell had 12 points for Dumas.
Lonoke 42, White Hall 41
Lonoke outscored White Hall 18-10 in the fourth quarter to pull off a 42-41 comeback win to finish in third place in the Southeast Arkansas Invitational.
For White Hall, JaeLisa Allen scored 14 points and Rachel Box had a team-high 16 points.
Star City 49,
Watson Chapel 26
LITTLE ROCK — Star City won the third-place game of the Heavenly Hoops tournament over Watson chapel 49-26.
The game was close after the first quarter as Star City (5-1) had a 6-4 lead, and the Lady Bulldogs started to pull away and had a 22-9 halftime advantage. Watson Chapel managed just four points in the third quarter.
Jaida Harden led Star City, which plays on Nov. 27 at El Dorado, with 16 points and Tyeshia Harris added 11.
Kamera Bozeman scored eight points for Watson Chapel.
Drew Central 60,
Hamburg 26 (Friday)
HAMBURG — Drew Central had four players score in double figures in a 60-26 win over Hamburg.
Cierra Gardener led Drew Central (3-0) with 19 points and Aaliyah Block followed with 14. Holly Williams and Kari Milton scored 10 points each for the Lady Pirates.
Drew Central 74,
Hamburg 66 (Friday)
HAMBURG — Billy Binns scored 27 points to lead Drew Central to a 74-66 win over Hamburg.
Edmond Hunter added 15 points for Drew Central (3-0) and Jerell Binns chipped in 10.