Cave City rallies past Lady Lions in NEA play

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Cave City outscored Manila 19-8 in the fourth quarter, overcoming a five-point deficit, and went on to defeat the Lady Lions 55-49 in first round Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament action Monday morning at First National Bank Arena on the campus of Arkansas state University in Jonesboro.

The Lady Lions led 41-36 entering the final frame, but Cave City’s Brooke Henry drained back to back treys, giving the Cavewomen a 42-41 edge. Manila answered on Sydney Adcock’s five-foot floater to go back on top. Sierra Williams threw in a lefthanded scoop at the 5:13 mark, giving Cave City a 44-43 lead. Meg Gifford raced down the floor and drove for two of her own with 5:00 remaining, and Manila went back ahead 45-44. The Cavewomen scored the game’s next four points, getting a free throw from Gracie McComas and Brittnie Walling’s three pointer to take a 49-45 advantage with 4:25 remaining in the game. Adcock drilled a 15-foot jumper followed by an eight-foot floater, evening the score at 49-all with 1:39 left. Henry put Cave City on top to stay with an inside bucket at the 1:25 mark. The Lady Lions were unable to score the rest of the way while the Cavewomen knocked down four free throws to set the final set at 55-49.

The Lady Lions held an 11-9 lead after the first quarter before falling behind 25-23 at the half as Walling pumped in eight second stanza points for the Cavewomen. The third quarter belonged to Manila, as the Lady Lions out-scored Cave City 18-11 to take a five-point lead into the last period.

Cave City put three players in double digits, led by Williams’ 17 points, while Henry and Walling added 14 points apiece. The Cavewomen made 12-20 foul shots and hit four three pointers.

Adcock paced the Lady Lions with 13 points while Gifford and Brailey Hampton added 10 points apiece. Madison Bibbs tallied six, Presley Pierce and Courtney Merritt had four points each while Andi Baker chipped in two points. Manila made 11-18 free throws and drained four treys.

“We played hard. We could have easily rolled over and quit, but we didn’t. We were ready to win in the NEA Tournament; we just didn’t get it done. We missed some free throws in the first quarter that would have really helped us later on. I think the girls were just getting their jitters out, getting used to the big floor. They gave a great effort and I was really proud of them,” said Manila coach Sammi Fowler-Morphis.

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