By ISAAC BOURNE | The Arkadelphian
BLYTHEVILLE – The Arkadelphia Lady Badgers (20-10) held to within five points Thursday night in the first half with the 34-1 Farmington Lady Cardinals in their 74-41 loss in the quarterfinals of the Centennial Bank State Tourney.
“I’m just so proud of the girls for the effort that they gave and their determination and everything,” head coach Jonathan Klein said about his team’s effort. “…it was good to see them compete against arguably the number one team in the state, and they competed with them.”
Senior guard Liyah Smith scored 13 points in her final game for the Lady Badgers while sophomore guard TeTe Tate had nine, all coming in the first half. Senior forward Makayla Gentry had eight hard-earned points, battling inside with two six-footers for every single bucket. Senior guard Amya Snowden scored five in the game and sophomores Zuri Jones and Taylor Aultman both had three respectively.
On the Lady Cardinal side, senior Jenna Lawrence had 22 points for Farmington in a game where she was held to just four points in the first half by the Arkadelphia defense. Sophomore Marin Adams and sophomore Kaycee McCumber both had 13 while junior Hannah Moss had eight and junior Reese Shirey had seven in the outing.
The Lady Badger press breaker gave Farmington problems in the first half, leading to multiple Arkadelphia transition points. The fast play of the Lady Badgers allowed them to put up points in response to the Lady Cardinal scoring barrage.
“We played Nashville three times,” Kelin said when asked about how they were able to break the press. “We make a joke of it, but when you keep replaying a team as successful as Nashville, it prepares you to play really good teams. We just talked about the presses that we’ve seen before and what their press was going to do.”
This loss ends the season for the Lady Badgers who finished 20-10 on the season and 10-4 in conference play.
“Only one team ends the season on a win so it’s rough for everybody but one team,” said Klein. “I’m proud of our girls with what they did this year from start to finish, even going back into the offseason and summer camps. I’m just so proud of these girls.”
Arkadelphia says goodbye to four seniors after this game, with Smith, Snowden, Gentry, and guard TK Crawford all ending their high school basketball careers Thursday night.