Town Crier Sports Staff
Injuries are a part of the game, but the Manila Lady Lions seem to be getting more than their fair share. Manila began play in the 60th annual Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament Friday afternoon one player short, and by the time Marmaduke completed a 45-35 victory over the Lady Lions, two more Lions fell to injuries.
Manila was minus senior forward Roccio Bedolla entering tournament play and lost junior Heather Dohzier to an ankle injury while sophomore Colleen Kemp was also forced to leave the game with an unspecified injury.
Injuries weren't the only problems for the Lady Lions, as they also shot a miserable 8-22 from the free throw line.
Marmaduke jumped to an early 8-0 lead before Michelle Daniel gave Manila their first two points with a pair of free throws at the 6:30 mark of the opening quarter. The Lady Lions cut the Greyhound lead to 12-8 at the end of the first break.
Manila closed to within one point, 12-11, on a three pointer by Daniel with 6:20 left in the first half, but watched the Lady Greyhounds close out the half with a 6-2 run to take an 18-13 lead into the dressing room at the half.
Marmaduke built their lead to 23-13 midway through the third quarter on a three pointer by Lindsey Hickson and held that margin through the end of the period at 30-20.
Marmaduke failed to score a bucket in the fourth quarter, but didn't need to as the Lady Greyhounds hit 15 of 20 free throw attempts to seal the victory and advance to the tournament's semi-finals.
Jade Brinkley led Marmaduke with 14 points while Shawna Spurling added 13 more. The Lady Greyhounds finished 21-29 from the foul line and made two three pointers on the afternoon.
Daniel paced Manila with 13 points while Katie Veach added nine. Rebekah White scored seven, Chantel Hames netted three, Colleen Kemp had two while Kimberly Wise added one.
"When you miss 14 free throws you aren't going to win many games," Manila Coach Cody Malloy said. "We just couldn't get anything going. We are fighting one injury after another and that's not helping with team motivation right now. But we still have seven girls, and we just have to play with what we have and move on."
Manila will return to action Jan. 4 when they travel to Harrisburg to face the Lady Hornets in a 3A-2 conference match-up.