Lady Wildcats upend Manila 53-43 in NEA Tourney action

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Lady Lion Tessa Pannells drives to the basket during action in the 69th Annual NEA Tournament. Manila lost its first round game to Trumann.

Trumann made enough free throws down the stretch to hold off a fourth quarter Manila rally, eliminating the Lady Lions 53-43 in the first round of the 69th Annual Northeast Arkansas Invitational Basketball Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro.

Manila trailed 41-30 entering the fourth quarter, but sliced the deficit to four points at the 5:08 mark. Courtney Scott began the comeback with a pair of charity tosses, followed by a three pointer from senior guard Taylor Harmon. Lauren Woody added a pair of free throws, and suddenly the Lady Lions had climbed to within 41-37.

Trumann answered when senior Taelor Gartman, who led the Lady Wildcats with 19 points, drilled a 10-foot jumper. Hannah Wood followed by knocking down four consecutive free throws, and when Kelcie Roland sank two more foul shots, Trumann was back in control, 49-37, with just 2:13 to play.

The Lady Wildcats got off to a 12-10 lead after the first quarter, thanks to back to back treys from sophomore Lexi Jackson. Harmon kept the Lady Lions close, scoring six first period points.

Harmon began the second stanza with a 12-foot jumper to tie the contest 12-12. The two teams were even, 17-all, until Zaria McGuire dropped in a pair of free throws at the 5:30 mark to put Trumann on top to stay, 19-17. A three pointer by Wood and a Gartman layup gave the Lady Wildcats a 28-20 halftime advantage.

Trumann led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before Manila was able to trim the Wildcat lead to 41-30 entering the final frame.

Jackson and Wood followed Gartman in double digits, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively. The Lady Wildcats finished 12-18 from the foul stripe, including a 10-14 performance in the fourth quarter.

Harmon scored a game high 25 points to lead the Lady Lions. Scott contributed five, Hannah Teague had four while Jordan Tyler finished with three points. Woody, Jordyn Wheeler and Tessa Pannells chipped in two points apiece. Manila made nine of 13 free throws. The Lady Lions turned the ball over 17 times.

Manila dropped a pair of conference matchups, losing to Hoxie 75-51 Monday night before falling 61-45 Thursday night to Corning.

Sydney Gillham produced a double-double for the Lady Mustangs, scoring 36 points while grabbing 15 rebounds in Hoxie's win over the Lady Lions. Krista Vankirk added 12 points while Kaitlin Henson added 10. Teague topped Manila with 14 points while Harmon pitched in 10.

Manila took the junior high contest 31-30.

Kaytie Manatt pumped in 33 points to lead Corning past the Lady Lions. Teague led Manila with 18 points while Woody chipped in 11.

The Lady Bobcats won the junior high game 45-35.

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