Posted on March 2, 2017
Wildcats to take on Marion This article was published today at 5:00 a.m. By Tony Burns Sports Editor PEARCY – El Dorado’s girls opened play Wednesday in the 6A State Tournament, beating Little Rock Hall 57-34 at Lake Hamilton High School. The Lady Wildcats improved to 20-8 and will face Jonesboro today at 7 p.m. The Wildcats, who had a first-round bye, take on Marion today at 5:30 p.m. Mekaylan Hicks powered the Lady Wildcats with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The senior sat out a large portion of the second half. Jada Wainright scored 10 points with six boards. “It feels great. We prepared for them. I feel like we executed,” said El Dorado coach Destinee Rogers. “We relaxed a little bit in that first half but once we picked the energy back up, I thought it was good. I thought we played good defense and rebounded. “I’m so proud of Jada Wainright. I mean, she gave us tonight what we’d been missing. She did a tremendous job. Mekaylan is still stepping up the way we need her to this time of the year. I’m excited to move on. We’ve got a tough one (today) against Jonesboro.” The Lady Wildcats scored the first 13 points of the game. Hicks scored the first seven, including a 3-pointer. She followed that up by bringing the ball up the floor and finding Alexie Pope trailing for another 3-pointer. The margin was 16-2 before the Lady Warriors went on a 15-3 run, cutting the margin to 19-17 with 4:58 left in the second. But, El Dorado wasn’t worried. Pope’s 3-pointer triggered a game-deciding 22-0 run. With the lead at 44-18 midway in the third, Rogers called Hicks to the bench, where she sat for the majority of the second half. “Trying to save her legs,” said Rogers. “She’s going to have to go (today). I was just trying to save her legs a little bit. We tried to save Lexie’s legs a little bit. I wanted to get those other kids in the game and let them touch this floor and give them some confidence.” El Dorado’s reserves kept the Lady Warriors at a safe distance the rest of the way. “I was really proud of Kierra Boone for coming in. She sealed off in the post and she got the ball and she went up and scored it for us. That’s what we need from her,” said Rogers. Pope scored eight points with three steals. Boone scored six with six rebounds. Victoria Rice led the team with four assists. El Dorado expects a stiffer test today from Jonesboro. “They’re really good. They’re fast. They can, kind of, do it all. It’s going to be extremely tough for us. If we play solid defense and box out, I think we’ll give ourselves a really good chance,” Rogers said. The Wildcats will face a Marion squad that advanced with a double-overtime win over Sheridan on Wednesday. “They’re very athletic, like Marion always is. They had a 6-8 post kid who is no longer with the team. That makes them a little more vulnerable for us to attack the rim and get the ball inside to Daniel. I feel like if we play defense and rebound and limit our turnovers, I think we’ll be in good shape,” said El Dorado boys basketball coach Gary Simmons.