Lady Badgers banish Lady Go-Devils in physical shootout

By ISAAC BOURNE | For The Arkadelphian

After a close first half in the Lady Badgers 74-42 win over Gurdon, the Lady Go-Devils held the momentum after a buzzer-beater brought them into the break. But after a run to start the third quarter, Arkadelphia went into the final quarter with a comfortable 54-37 lead, and they held onto it for the rest of the game. 

Coach Jonathan Klein spoke on his team’s ability to force turnovers in pulling away from the Go-Devils. “We really just focus on playing hard while ensuring disciplined team defense,” Klein said. “In the process of doing that, the turnovers and transition baskets will come.”

Those transition baskets accounted for most of the points by the Lady Badger offense, as their stellar defense led to constant scoring on the other end. Leading the charge down low was senior center Makayla Gentry, who finished the game with 17 points, 12 of which coming from inside the paint or on the break. 

Coach Klein spoke of his team’s philosophy when playing fast: “We want to play fast, so anytime we are able to get out and run, that is allowing us to put the pace of play where we want it to be.”

On the outside, senior point guard Liyah Smith led the team with 18 points on the night, 17 of which came in the first half where she hit five threes. In the second half, her passing led to multiple Lady Badger buckets. 

“Her leadership along with the other seniors is one of the factors that has brought this team together and contributed to the culture we have,” Klein said about his star guard.

As a team, Arkadelphia hit 11 threes on the night to sink the Lady Go-Devils and to take away any hopes of a comeback.

The Lady Badgers hope to bring that shooting streak into their matchup on Monday night, when they will face off against the Lady Rams of Lakeside.

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