Lady Badgers bested by Nashville in regional semifinal

By ISAAC BOURNE | The Arkadelphian

WARREN — The Arkadelphia Lady Badgers went toe-to-toe with the reigning state champions once again Friday night in their 65-28 loss to the Nashville Scrapperettes.

“We have more ball to be played, and we’re focused on Hamburg and getting back to playing some good ball.”

— Badgers Coach Jonathan Klein

After a big win Thursday in the 4A South Regional over Watson Chapel, the Lady Badgers got the chance to face Nashville for the third time this year.

“They’re a great team and it’s just a great opportunity for us to come out and grow and get better,” head coach Jonathan Klein said about the loss.

After jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead to start the game, Arkadelphia quickly fell down to Earth against a team that does not have a single 4A loss this year, giving up a 27-0 run before they could come up with another score. The full-court press laid on by the Scrapperettes and head coach Paul Dean overwhelmed the Lady Badgers on their way to committing several turnovers that allowed Nashville to take them out early. The Scrapperettes’ speed down the court allowed them to convert the majority of their points in transition.

Freshman forward Z’layiah Jackson looks to pass the ball against Nashville defenders in the Lady Badgers loss Friday night. | Isaac Bourne/The Arkadelphian

Offensively, Arkadelphia’s inability to make shots down the stretch against a superior rebounding team prevented any chance of a Lady Badger victory, as the Scapperettes’ length and versatility allowed for them to crash the boards quickly and often. 

Senior guard Liyah Smith led the offense for the Lady Badgers, scoring 10 hard-earned points on the legendary Scrapperette defense. Sophomore guard TeTe Tate and freshman forward Janya Mckillion both had four in the contest, while sophomore wing Taylor Aultman had three.

On the Scrapperette side, senior guard Kyleigh Scoggins dropped 19 in the game while her senior backcourt running mate, Lauren Carver, had 11 in the contest. Sophomore Shalyn Lyle and junior Aaliyah Hollins both had six, while junior guard Olivia Dean and sophomore guard Jessie Lyle had five apiece.

Nashville will take this win into the championship game Saturday, where they are heavily favored to win out and take the first-round bye that comes with winning the South region.

This loss sends the Lady Badgers to the third place round of the regional tournament, where Saturday they will face the Hamburg Lady Lions to decide on seeding for 4A state in Blytheville next week.

“[We are] just focusing on moving forward and bouncing back from tonight,” Klein said. “We have more ball to be played, and we’re focused on Hamburg and getting back to playing some good ball.”

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