Not yet in hoops shape, Cardinals drop opener

The Dollarway Cardinals found out just how difficult the transition from football to basketball can be as they lost 53-39 to the Clarendon Lions in the first round of the Zebra Invitational on Friday afternoon inside McFadden Gymnasium.

“We got to get in basketball mode,” head coach Ellis “Chief” Berry said. “Right now our conditioning is a big factor.”

Dollarway jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter but Clarendon would go on a 19-2 run for the rest of the first half. The Lions led 23-15 by halftime.

“You expect that when they first are coming out there,” Berry said. “They are geared up, hyped up, but as soon as they go up and down the court four or five times, that conditioning starts to set in.”

Dollarway postponed the first half of its basketball season as it was forced to wait on the football playoffs to come to a close. The Dollarway football team made it to the semifinals of the 4A state playoffs before being eliminated by Booneville.

Clarendon took its first lead of the game in the second quarter thanks to a three-pointer with about 4:40 left in the first half.

Gujuan Christmas scored Dollarway’s only points of the second quarter with a bucket inside to tie the game at 15 with 3:59 left in the first half.

Christmas scored eight points for the Cardinals (0-1) and Joshua Liddell led the team with 10 points.

“(Liddell) is just going to get better,” Berry said. “They are going to get better, they just have to get into shape.

“We also had a bunch of 10th graders and juniors out there that haven’t played before.”

Clarendon extended its lead to 35-23 in the third quarter thanks to an 8-0 run with less than 3 minutes left.

“They were just as talented as we were,” Berry said. “They just made more shots than we did.”

Dollarway started the fourth quarter with a bucket by Liddell, an offensive putback, to cut the deficit to 36-29. With less than 6 minutes left to play in the game, Dollarway had cut the lead to 38-33.

The Cardinals were 20 of 57 from the floor and were outrebounded 36-27. Dollarway turned the ball over 15 times and was 2 of 7 from the free throw line.

“Our shots just weren’t falling,” Berry said. “And this was their ninth ball game.

“They were in a little better conditioning than we were.”

Dollarway will face Little Rock Mills today at 2 p.m. in the second round of the Zebra Invitational. Mills lost 70-46 to Pine Bluff on Friday.

Little Rock McClellan 71, Dumas 69

Little Rock McClellan scored a bucket with about 2 seconds left to break a 69-69 tie and defeat Dumas in the first round of the Zebra Invitational on Friday at McFadden Gymnasium.

Keith Hayes led McClellan with 21 points and Ken Madden scored 24 points for Dumas.

McClellan will face Pine Bluff today at 3:30 p.m. and Dumas will play Clarendon today at 12:30 in the second round of the invitational.