Fourth quarter Lady Lion rally falls short in NEA Tourney

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Manila Coach Mark Manchester gives directions to his Lady Lions in second half NEA Tournament play against Harrisburg Friday at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

Harrisburg built a 19 point lead after three quarters before staving off a furious fourth quarter rally by Manila to hang on for a 58-49 victory over the Lady Lions Friday afternoon in the first round of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament in Jonesboro.

The Lady Hornets took what seemed to be a safe 44-25 advantage into the final quarter of play, but watched the Lady Lions chop away at the lead, outscoring Harrisburg 23-9 to pull to within six points at the 2:20 mark. Manila got back in the contest by sinking eight consecutive free throws, wrapped around three triples, two by Taylor Harmon and a third from Hannah Teague. Jordyn Wheeler chipped in eight points during Manila's fourth quarter comeback attempt.

After Lauren Woody's bucket pulled Manila to within 54-48, the Lady Lions went scoreless the rest of the way, as Harrisburg controlled the boards while running out the clock.

Taylor Harmon drains a three pointer Friday night in NEA Tournament action against Harrisburg.

Harrisburg jumped to a 10-1 lead to begin the game, aided by consecutive triples, one each by Keely Curtis and Emily Armstrong. But the Lady Lions battled back, scoring seven straight points, highlighted by a Harmon three to slice the Harrisburg lead to two. Jessica Webb's offensive stick-back just before the first period horn blew left the Lady Hornets with a 12-8 lead.

Manila stormed out of the gate in the second quarter behind Harmon, who drained a three pointer before following up with a slashing drive to the basket for another two points. Teague sank a pair of free throws at the 5:57 mark, giving the Lady Lions their one and only lead of the game, 15-14. Harrisburg came right back to regain the advantage when Edwards knifed through the lane for a bucket.

Peyton Craft and Meghan Scott drilled back to back three pointers, helping Harrisburg stretch their lead to 26-18 lead with 2:00 left before intermission. Buckets by Tessa Pannells and Hannah McQueen shaved the Lady Hornet lead to 27-22, but an offensive put back by Webb with three seconds to go gave Harrisburg a 29-22 lead at halftime.

Harrisburg outscored the Lady Lions 15-3 in the third quarter with Manila's only points coming off a Harmon three pointer.

Harrisburg placed three players in double figures, led by Webb who finished with 15. Armstrong scored 12 while Edwards tallied 11.

Harmon topped the Lady Lions with a game high 21 points. Wheeler scored eight, Woody tallied six while Teague and McQueen chipped in five points apiece. Pannells added four points.

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