Fillies fight back to win tourney title

The Pine Bluff Fillies outscored the Little Rock Christian Lady Warriors 40-22 in the second half to come back for a 61-45 victory to win the Southeast Arkansas Girls Basketball Tournament held at McFadden Gymnasium on Saturday.

Pine Bluff (3-0) and Little Rock Christian (2-1) battled back and forth in a physical game in which the teams combined to shoot 40 free throws. Pine Bluff won that category by finishing 22-of-28 while Christian went 6-of-12.

Pine Bluff head coach Loy Moore said he was happy with the resiliency his girls showed throughout the game, especially when they were down.

“I was proud of that win,” Moore said. “We played an excellent team who came out on fire and we responded. We found out a lot. I was pleased the way we responded in both halves.

“We kept telling them that we need to make it a fourth quarter game and get into their legs. We’re a pressure team … but if we could just get it to the fourth quarter with it close, we felt like we would be in good shape.”

The Warriors came out on fire, jumping out to a 16-7 first quarter lead. Pine Bluff fought back in the second quarter led by Ajia Richardson who had six points in the quarter as L.R. Christian took a slim 23-21 lead into halftime.

After Pine Bluff was down 34-25 midway through the third quarter, the Fillies responded with a 10-0 run to give them a one point lead and led 40-39 at the end of the third. The Fillies pressure defense finally caught up to the Warriors as they were forced them into seven second-half turnovers.

The biggest momentum swing came late in the fourth quarter with 3:55 left in the game. Kye Richardson made a beautiful entry pass to Chasity Moore who finished with a layup plus a foul. Moore sank the free throw and the Fillies took a 45-44 lead. After Moore sank two more free throws to increase the lead to three, L.R. Christian fouled Moore who made the shot and the Warriors were charged a technical foul after the play.

After Moore made the freebie, Richardson stepped to the line and calmly sank both technical free throws to increase the Fillies lead to 52-44. The Warriors missed their free throws down the stretch while getting outscored 21-6 in the fourth quarter.

Moore said the Fillies hitting their free throws down the stretch was a key to the victory.

“Our first two games, we were horrible at the free-throw line,” Moore said. “We practiced this morning while the other teams were playing. We shot free throws for about 30 minutes. It’s something we have been weak at but this game we corrected it. I saw a lot of improvement from the first game to today, so I’m pleased.”

Pine Bluff was led by Richardson who led all scorers with 19 points while adding five rebounds and a steal. Jasmyn Eckermann chipped in with 16 points, one rebound, one assist, and four steals.

Dumas 40, Hamburg 38

Dumas (2-1) outscored Hamburg 22-8 in the first half and held off a late rally by Hamburg to win the two-point ball game and finish third in the Southeast Arkansas Girls Basketball Tournament on Saturday.

Mana Mitchell continued her hot streak of scoring with 17 points to lead all scorers.

White Hall 52, Camden Fairview 25

White Hall (1-2) used a 20-9 run in the first quarter and led 31-14 at halftime while cruising to a 27 point victory over Camden Fairview (0-3) in the seventh place game at the Southeast Arkansas Girls Basketball Tournament.

Jae’Lisa Allen led all scorers with 18 points as White Hall scored in double digits in three of the four quarters.

Wonderview defeated Little Rock McClellan by a final of 42-20 to finish fifth.