Lady Warriors in new territory with loss of Madden
In the Thanksgiving Classic last week at Marmaduke, the EPC Lady Warriors played first Pocahontas then Nettleton losing both, 63-37 and 58-36 respectively. That in itself is unusual considering the Warriors are defending 3A state runner-ups and from the fact that most of the team returns.
What is even more unusual is the fact that in the eight quarters of the two games, EPC won only one quarter. The most obvious reason for the sudden about-face is the loss of Jordan Madden for at least the short term and possibly for the season due to a hand injury. She sustained a broken finger in the Warriors' game with Pulaski Academy earlier in the week.
Regardless of the Baylor University signee's absence, coach Bobby Lewallen was less than pleased with the play of his team.
"We had 26 turnovers in the Pocahontas game and you're not going to beat a junior high team with 26 turnovers." The coach said. "We were tired, had too many people wanting to do other things than play basketball that day. They wanted to go Christmas shopping or be anywhere, but playing a basketball game.
"Yes, we didn't have Jordan because of her hand injury, but we didn't have our mind on the game and we just weren't ready for it. Give Pocahontas credit, though, they're a good team and play good man-to-man defense they're physical and man handled us the whole game. It was a tough game to watch. We were never in it."
No one on the Warriors squad made it into double figures in the match with the Lady Redskins as Jocelyn Joplin led the team with nine points. Following here were: Kereyah Young with seven , Carla Kemp six, Shanique Monk five, Katelyn Armstrong and Madison McCorkle three each, and both Becca Ross and Taneshia Jones two.
For Pocahontas Hibbard had 15 and Tylor 11.
Nettleton 58, EPC 36
"The Nettleton game was a much better game." said Lewallen "We ran our sets better, but once again the turnovers killed us. We were down six points in the first quarter and turned it over 13 times in that quarter. Plus we had 35 turnovers for the game. I've never heard of a team turning it over 35 times. As far as turnovers, it was the worst game I've ever been a part of.
"We played hard which shows by the 13 turnovers in the first quarter, but still being down only six. We got after them. We made mistakes, though. We've got to convert on defense. Plus we shot only 36 percent and that has to get better."
Ross led the scoring with 12 followed by Joplin with 10. Additionally, Kemp had six, Kelli Saddler four, Young three and Casey Simmons one.
"We missed Jordan," concluded Lewallen. "but we've got kids who can play and can score. Most of the time they're used to being the second scorer, but with her out someone has to step up and be the leader. That hasn't happened yet."
The Warriors began play in the Jennings Tournament at Gosnell last night with a first round game against Marked Tree.