Pine Bluff advances to tourney championship


The biggest drawback with playing a high-tempo offense is that the aggressive behavior tends to lead to a lot of fouls and sending opponents to the free throw line.

It showed Thursday night, as the Hamburg Lady Lions scored 75 percent of their points from the free throw line, but the Pine Bluff Fillies (2-0) were able to advance to the Southeast Arkansas Girls Basketball Tournament championship 65-48 win inside McFadden Gymnasium.

“They were shooting free throws,” Pine Bluff head coach Loy Moore said. “They couldn’t score when we guarded them, so we put them on the free throw line.

“It is not very smart. We got to be smarter than that. We let them back in the game.”

With less than 4 minutes left in the first quarter, the Fillies took a 13-2 lead over Hamburg but the Lady Lions outscored the Fillies 10-4 for the remaining of the quarter to get within five points.

“We got to be aggressive because we aren’t a very big basketball team until we get (Johneice) Tate back from her knee surgery,” Moore said. “Maybe we can change things then, but right now we got to go get people because we aren’t very big and we got to do that without fouling.”

After Hamburg cut Pine Bluff’s lead to just two points thanks to a three-pointer with about 6:12 left to play in the first half, Pine Bluff junior Jasmyn Eckermann, who scored 10 against Little Rock McClellan in the tourney opener, grabbed a pair of steals and four points to give the Fillies a 21-15 lead with 4:11 left in the second quarter.

Pine Bluff took a 23-15 lead on a bucket by senior Ajia Richardson and following a basket by Hamburg, junior Chasity Moore grabbed an offensive rebound and put-back to give the Fillies a 25-17 lead with 2:48 left in the first half.

“You aren’t going to beat a good basketball team when they are shooting three times as many free throws as you are,” Moore said. “I’m just frustrated with our lack of discipline – too much reaching and grabbing.”

By the end of the first half, Pine Bluff led Hamburg 27-22.

“Our rotations are good and I thought we played some excellent defense off the ball tonight,” Moore said. “We just got to own the ball and quit reaching and grabbing so much.”

The Fillies scored four straight points to open the second half including a baseline bucket by Richardson with 6:16 left in third quarter. It gave Pine Bluff a 34-22 lead.

Junior Kye Richardson scored on a steal and junior Jada Taylor hit a three-pointer from the right side to give the Fillies a 39-33 lead with about 4:44 left in the third.

“We got to be aggressive, I don’t want to take that away from them,” Moore said. “You just got to do it without putting them on the free throw line.

“It is not a complicated problem. We can fix it.”

By the end of the third quarter, Pine Bluff led Hamburg 47-32.

The Fillies scored six straight points to open the fourth quarter to take a 21-point lead with about six minutes left in the game.

“If we play good defense, I don’t think teams can beat us from the field,” Moore said. “If we don’t put them on the free throw line, we are in good shape.

“Unfortunately for two games now that’s what we’ve done.”

Moore led Pine Bluff with 20 points and Eckermann finished with 14 points. Ajia Richardson had 15 points.

The Fillies will play in the championship game against Little Rock Christian on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Wonderview 58, White Hall 27

Wonderview scored double digits in every quarter and held White Hall to just one point in the second quarter as the Lady Bulldogs lost in the consolation semifinals of the Southeast Arkansas Girls Basketball Tournament.

Lindsey Williams led White Hall with 15 points.

The Lady Bulldogs (0-2) will play Camden Fairview for seventh place on Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Pine Bluff High.

LR Christian 50, Dumas 46

Little Rock Christian outscored Dumas 19-14 in the fourth quarter as they defeated Dumas by four points in the semifinals of the Southeast Arkansas Girls Basketball Tournament at McFadden Gymnasium Thursday night.

Mana Mitchell, who finished with 19 points in the game against White Hall, made six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 27 points in the loss to Little Rock Christian.

Dumas (1-1) will face Hamburg for third place at 1:30 p.m.

Little Rock McClellan defeated Camden Fairview 49-38. McClellan will play Wonderview on Saturday at noon for consolation championship