SHERIDAN — The Pine Bluff Fillies won their third straight game Friday night and, with a little help from Benton, have moved into a tie for first place in the 7A/6A-South Conference.
Having already knocked off top-seeded El Dorado on Tuesday and Lake Hamilton on Thursday night, Pine Bluff defeated Sheridan 54-40 inside the Oliver Williams Fieldhouse.
“I’m really proud of the kids tonight,” Pine Bluff head coach Loy Moore said. “They’ve had a long week.
“With El Dorado, Lake Hamilton and now this one on the road.”
Benton defeated conference leader El Dorado 51-35 Friday night to hand the Lady Wildcats their second conference loss of the season.
Pine Bluff (20-5, 10-2) overcame an exhausting week to defeat Sheridan (11-9, 6-5).
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Moore said. “…We wanted to come out and press them because we had a lot of success with that last time.
“We just couldn’t because there were no legs there.”
Moore said his team came to him before the game and told him they didn’t feel like coming out in the press because they were tired.
“And they showed it,” Moore said. “That’s why we were in so much foul trouble. We were a step slow tonight.”
Heading into the second quarter, Pine Bluff led 12-7 and went up 16-11 after a basket from junior Jada Taylor with 4:49 left in the first half.
After a pair of free throws by junior Jasmyn Eckermann, the Fillies had a 18-13 lead with 3:51 left.
A 7-0 run by the Lady Yellowjackets gave them a 20-18 lead. However, Pine Bluff answered with a three-pointer from senior Ajia Richardson and a last second bucket by Eckermann to lead 23-20 heading into the half.
Sheridan would never lead again.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” Sheridan head coach Brian Davenport said. “… We never could put together the baskets to get over the hump.
“We did the game plan right. We wanted to keep them out of the paint and rebound well. I thought we did pretty well doing both.”
Sheridan was 12 of 21 from the free throw line. “If we had made about eight more of those, it is a little closer game,” Davenport said.
About midway through the second half, Sheridan trailed by nine points. Sophomore Bailey Richardson cut into the deficit with an offensive rebound and put back with 5:43 left.
Then with 4:56 left in the third, Richardson made one of two from the free throw line and made a bucket near the post to get the Lady Yellowjackets within five.
“We were trying to get it inside to Bailey quite a bit because she was having some success,” Davenport said. “Probably should have went in and fed her a little bit more.”
Richardson finished with eight points for Sheridan. Senior Lauren Mitchell scored a team-high nine points and senior Hannah Schultz contributed with six points.
Ajia Richardson scored a game-high 14 points and her sister, Kye, contributed with nine. Eckermann scored 15 points and Chasity Moore chipped in with eight.
Pine Bluff will host Benton on Tuesday and Sheridan will travel to Texarkana.