Lady Indians win NEA Invitational
The Marked Tree Lady Indians downed the Rector Lady Cougars 58-44 this past Monday to capture the girls Division I NEA Invitational Tournament title in Jonesboro.
Caflora Hillis opened the scoring for Marked Tree with a basket at 7:38 for a 2-0 lead. Kristin Smart canned a three-pointer for Rector at 6:03 to put the Lady Cougars up 3-2. Hillis scored again at 5:41 with a jumper in the lane for a 4-3 Marked Tree lead. Jay Perry scored off a fast break to make it 6-3 Lady Indians. Kendall Gunn hit one of two free throws for Rector at 3:21 to make the score 6-4. Jay Perry netted a three-pointer to make it 9-4 before Gunn hit a runner in the lane making it 9-6 with 2:11 left in the first. Poohnu Perry got inside for a score for Marked Tree at 1:56 before Gunn drilled a three-pointer at 1:42 to make it 11-9 Marked Tree. Jay Perry and Smart traded baskets to set the score at 13-11 Lady Indians after one.
Smart tied the game at 13 with two free throws at 7:43 of the second period. Poohnu Perry hit a jumper for Marked Tree making it 15-13. Bailey Harvey hit one of two free throws before Gunn grabbed the rebound off the missed free throw and scored to make it 16-15 Rector. Smart worked her way inside and scored for the Lady Cougars pushing their led to 18-15. Hillis and Jay Perry scored back to back baskets to give Marked Tree the lead at 19-18. Rebekah Scott scored off the fast break for Rector before Poohnu Perry hit two free throws to make the score 21-20 Marked Tree at 4:46. Gunn drilled another three-pointer to put the Lady Cougars up 23-21. Lexi Perry got an offensive rebound and scored to tie the game at 23. Gunn canned back to back three-pointers to put Rector up by six at 29-23 with 2:42 left until half. Marked Tree closed the period out with a 7-0 run to lead 30-29 at the half. Jay Perry got inside for a basket, Poohnu Perry scored off a pass from a Jay Perry steal, Jay Perry sank one of two free throws and Poohnu Perry rebounded her own miss with 4 seconds left and scored.
Marked Tree changed up their defense in the second half and it worked perfectly for the Lady Indians. Jamaca Allan guarded Gunn, who scored 17 points in the first half, and held her to one point in the third as Marked Tree used an 11-4 period to take the lead for good.
Jay Perry canned a three-pointer from the left corner to give Marked Tree a 33-29 lead less than a minute into the third period. Lexi Perry made one of two free throws at 6:53 to push the lead to 34-29. Scott made a lay up for Rector to cut the lead to 34-31. Poohnu Perry made two free throws to make it 36-31. Gunn hit one of two free throws after being fouled to make the score 36-32. Jay Perry was good again on a three-pointer from the left wing to make it 39-32 Lady Indians. Hillis grabbed a rebound off her own missed shot and scored to make it 41-32 with 2:25 left to play. Brittany Fair was fouled and hit one of two free shots to make it 41-33 Lady Indians after three.
Lexi Perry made a basket down low and then hit one of two free throws after being fouled to stretch the lead to 44-33 Marked Tree. Smart cut the lead to 44-36 with a three-pointer from the left corner. Kambria Marshal got an inside basket for Marked Tree at 6:14 to make it 46-36 Lady Indians. Smart hit one of two free throws and Gunn made two free throws to cut the lead to 46-39. Lexi Perry hit a jumper in the lane, Marshal scored inside again and Lexi Perry scored off an offensive rebound to pust the Marked Tree lead to 52-39. Gunn made two free throws for Rector at 2:04 to make it 52-41. Marshall got an offensive rebound before Hillis got inside for Marked Tree to make it 56-41. Poohnu Perry hit two free throws with 47 seconds left making it 58-41 Lady Indians. Haney hit two free throws and Smart hit one setting the final at 58-44 and giving Marked Tree the title.
"We played a good game, Allan did a great job of guarding Gunn in the second half," Marked Tree coach Derik Drewett said after the game. "Hillis scored 10 points and that was a hugh boost for the team," Drewett added.
Jay Perry led Marked Tree in scoring with 18 points, Poohnu Perry added 14 points and Hillis and Lexi Perry both had 10. Lexi Perry had 16 rebounds on the night.
Gunn led all scorers with 22 points for Rector, Smart picthed in 14 points.