LITTLE ROCK — Going into Friday’s game against Greenwood, the No. 1 goal for Pine Bluff was to limit its turnovers.
Unfortunately for the Fillies, that goal was quickly erased as the half-court trap defense by the Lady Bulldogs proved to be too much as Pine Bluff fell 68-32 in the Arkansas Showcase inside the Alex Hugg Gymnasium on the campus of Pulaski Academy.
“We knew it when we came in,” said Pine Bluff head coach Loy Moore. “It wasn’t like we came in blind.
“Turnovers killed us early.”
Pine Bluff (10-3) had the game within five points in the first quarter but by the end of the period, Greenwood led 15-9.
“They got a big lead and we got our heads down,” Moore said. “We couldn’t make a shot. It was a vicious cycle.”
A second quarter drought by Pine Bluff stretched Greenwood’s lead to 38-18 by halftime. Greenwood junior Megan Hartness scored six of her nine points in the second quarter including 3 of 4 from the free-throw line.
Greenwood junior Haleigh Henson hit a three-pointer to stretch the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 28-11 and she hit another with 2:52 left in the first half to give Greenwood a 20-point lead at 33-13.
Henson, who led all scorers with 19 points, scored five more points to stretch their lead to 38-15.
Pine Bluff’s Ajia Richardson completed a three-point play to cut the lead to 20 points right before half.
“We didn’t play very well,” Moore said. “… But at the same time, we knew what was gong to happen coming in.
“We just didn’t execute. We did a poor job of that.”
Pine Bluff managed just four points in the third quarter as Greenwood extended its lead to 35 points by the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Leading 45-18 with less than six minutes left in the third, Greenwood junior Brittany Branum stole a pass but was fouled on the lay-up attempt. She made one of two from the line but quickly came back and netted a basket to give Greenwood a 48-18 lead.
“We knew coming in we had to limit our turnovers,” Moore said. “Obviously we didn’t do that.
“We just didn’t shoot it very well. Our kids played pretty poorly today.”
Another basket by Branum gave Greenwood a 50-20 lead and a three-pointer by senior Lundon Williams pushed it to a 53-22 lead.
Williams finished the game with 15 points and Maddie Goodner had nine points for the Lady Bulldogs. Ajia Richardson led the Fillies with 11 points, while Jasmyn Eckermann netted six points.
Pine Bluff enters conference play next week when it hosts Texarkana at McFadden Gymnasium on Friday, Jan. 10.
“What we did wrong today against the trap can be fixed,” Moore said. “I’m not worried about that part.
“I’m worried about our consistency. After going out and playing as hard as we played the last three games, to come back with that effort — its definitely a concern.”