Lady Pirates finish third in holiday tourney
Drew Central hosted the annual Commercial Bank Southeast Arkansas Holiday Basketball Tournament during the Christmas Break last Thursday through Saturday and—while neither host squad did as well as they would have liked—both earned third-place trophies.
On the girls’s side, the Lady Pirates opened their tournament play facing Kilbourne, La. In the contest, DC exploded to a 28-0 first-quarter lead behind Olivia Young’s nine points. It didn’t get much better for the Lady Hawks in the second period as Drew Central outscored Kilbourne 10-4 to take a 38-4 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Starting the second half under the sportsmanship rule where the clock would continuously run for the
remainder of the game, the Lady Pirates continued to add to their lead, scoring 11 points in the quarter. The Louisians, meanwhile, had their best quarter scoring wise in the same eight minutes, scoring five points.
Drew Central was able to get their younger players off the bench involved in the contest in the fourth quarter as the Lady Pirates added seven more points to their total to defeat Kilbourne 56-11 and advance to the semifinals of the tournament.
In the first0round contest, Charlayah Ridgell led the lady Pirates with 13 points. Gracie Connard, moving up from the
Junior Lady Pirates, was second in scoring with 12. Young finished with the nine she scored in the opening period, followed by Ty’asia Gilbert with eight. Darbee Forte added five with Keli Stain, Michaela Binns, Maliah Spencer and Tamia Haney each scoring two points. Leneshia Everett rounded out the Lady Pirate scoring with one point.
For the Lady Hawks, T.J. Hill, Olivia Hill and Natalie McAlpine finished with three points each with Chole Allen netted two.
In the next game, the Lady Pirates found themselves in a rematch of their season opener, facing Parkers Chapel. The Lady Pirates had defeated the Lady Trojans 48-34 in the first game of the season.
Both teams went back and fourth for the first half of the game, matching each other closely on the scoreboard.
In the first quart er, neither team could gain an advantage as both teams finished the quarter with nine points. Drew Central was able to edge Parkers Chapel in the second quarter of play 16-15 to take a 25-24 lead into the locker room.
After the break, Drew Central gained the momentum in the third quarter outscoring its visitors 16-9 to take 41-33 lead into the final quarter of play. However, Parkers Chapel gained the advantage in the fourth as the Lady Trojans were able to put up 14 points in the quarter to Drew Central’s six to pull things even on the scoreboard at 47 apiece to force an overtime period.
All the points scored in extra time were the result of fouls as Drew Central connected on four of six from the line. Parkers Chapel went to the charity stripe on 14 times in the period, connecting on eight of those shots, to take a 55-51 victory.
For Drew Central, Forte led all scorers with 25 points. Ridgell scored 19 followed by Young with five. Connard rounded out the scoring with two points.
Leading the way for the Lady Hawks was Drue Thomas with 18 points. Taylor Fortune added 14, T.K. Burson 10 and Ali Looney eight. Kamryn Cross finished with three points. Kaylin Waller rounded out the scoring with two points.
Parker’s Chapel went on to lose to Smackover in the finals of the tournament, 41-34, to claim second place. Drew Central went on to defeat Little Rock Mills 63-52 to place third in the tournament.
Forte again led the Lady Pirates in scoring with 16 points, while Ridgell added 15 and Young chipped in with 12.
The Lady Pirates, now 9-7 overall, will return to action next Tuesday, traveling to McGehee to face off with the Lady Owls in Class 3A, District 8 conference play. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.