Marianna nearly took advantage of a second-half stumble by Dollarway – trimming a 17-point halftime deficit down to seven – but the Cardinals were able to overcome a poor shooting performance and 57-43 Tuesday night.
“We got complacent and we got away from what we were doing,” Dollarway head coach Ellis “Chief” Berry said. “We weren’t playing team structured basketball, we had a few turnovers and had some miscommunication on defense.”
Dollarway (4-1, 2-0 in 2-4A) led 37-20 at the end of the first half but in the third quarter, the Cardinals made just two baskets from the floor as Marianna (2-6, 1-1)trimmed the deficit to nine points with about a minute left in the quarter.
The majority of Dollarway’s points in the third quarter came from the free throw line as the Cardinals made 5 of 11 from the charity stripe in the third.
A layup by Christopher Slater and a bucket by senior Kabion Ento were Dollarway’s only baskets in the third. Despite their poor performance, Dollarway led 46-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We played a good first half,” Berry said. “But in the second half, we got tired.
“So we still need to work on our conditioning.”
Dollarway was 22 of 49 from the floor and the game and the Cardinals turned the ball over 24 times to the Trojans’ 14. Dollarway was 10 of 26 from the free throw line and was outrebounded 26-20.
“That’s what we got to correct,” Berry said referring to the turnover margin. “My guards got to protect the ball better than what they did tonight.
“We didn’t value the ball tonight.”
Leading 20-14 in the second quarter, Dollarway went on a 10-0 run to stretch its lead to 30-14.
Senior Kamaree Ento scored thanks to an assist from his brother Kabion Ento. Gujuan Christmas scored and a three-pointer gave the Cardinals a 25-14 lead.
A bucket by Landers Award nominee Josh Liddell and a layup by Christmas moved the lead to 29-14 with almost three minutes left in the first half.
Monterro Shorter hit one of two from the free throw line with 3:13 left to give the Cardinals the 30-14 lead.
“It is a good start for us,” Berry said. “But we still haven’t played a lot of ball games and we got a long way to go.”
In the third quarter, the Trojans made just three shots from the floor but were 6 of 8 from the free throw line as they got within seven points at 44-37.
“We still got a lot to work on,” Berry said. “It is good to start 2-0 in the conference, but there are some good teams out there.
“We just got to take it one game at a time.”
Berry said if they had played a tougher opponent Tuesday night, the outcome might have been a little different.
“If that had been Lonoke, they would have beaten us,” Berry said. “We are still not in basketball conditioning right now.”
Dollarway led 47-40 with 5:16 left in the game when Darius Robinson hit a bucket to put the Cardinals up by nine. A dunk by Kabion Ento and another bucket by Robinson stretched Dollarway’s lead to 53-41 with less than 3 minutes to play.
Robinson scored again following a turnover by Marianna. A basket near the end of the game by Christmas gave Dollarway the 14-point victory.
Liddell led the Cardinals with 13 points and Kabion Ento contributed with 11. Robinson chipped in with eight points and Christmas finished with seven.
Dollarway will host Heber Springs on Friday.
Dollarway 45, Marianna 42
The Lady Cardinals (1-3, 1-1 in 2-4A) held off a late rally by the Lady Trojans to win by three points Tuesday night at home.
Jayana Sanders led Dollarway with 12 points.
Dollarway trailed 25-24 at halftime.