After watching Paragould's Carson Defries and her teammates sink 4 of 6 three-point attempts in the first half, West Memphis Lady Devils head coach Shelia Burns directed her halftime speech toward perimeter defense.
The Lady Devils not only heard it, they acted on it.
West Memphis broke a 20-20 halftime deadlock with a furious third quarter led by a stifling exterior defense that limited Paragould to 1 of 9 shooting in the stanza on its way to a 47-32 victory over the Lady Rams.
Defries, who led her team with 14 points, 10 of which came in the first half, hit a three-ball with 6:35 to play in the third quarter, and those were the only points the hosts scored in the stanza.
In fact, the Lady Rams were held scoreless from the field from the 6:35 mark of the third quarter to the 3:10 mark of the fourth quarter.
"We challenged them at halftime," said Burns. "We broke it down for them. We had to make sure where (Defries) was on the floor the whole time."
Meanwhile, the Lady Devils (15-4 overall, 4-1 in the 5A-East Conference) outscored Paragould 12-3 in the quarter on the strength of eight points from ninth-grade guard Janiya Tucker, who despite sitting on the bench for several minutes of the second half, still led the Lady Devils in scoring with a game-high 16 points.
From there, it was all Lady Devils.
The victory, coupled with Mountain Home's upset over Nettleton, moves the Lady Devils into a four-way tie for first place in the 5A-East along with the two aforementioned teams and Jonesboro.
West Memphis owned the boards, outrebounding Paragould 24-14 and it limited Paragould to just 26 percent shooting (9 of 35) for the game.
Senior Terika Inmon is becoming more of an offensive threat for the Lady Devils, having scored 13 points at Paragould, hitting from all angles in the paint area.
"We need to work her a little more on defense, but her offense has been very good lately," Burns said of Inmon.
Inmon converted a three-point play with 4:04 to play in the game to give the Lady Devils a comfortable 41-24 lead. Her final basket came on a layup with 1:07 to play to account for the final points of the game for both teams.
Burns squad shot a season-high 60 percent from the field, making 21 of 35 shots.
The victory came at the expense of former Lady Devil great and the team's interim head coach last year, Sonja Tate, who is the Paragould head coach now.
Paragould falls to 5-11 overall and 1-4 in the conference.
Senior point guard Aryah Hazley and senior center Tiera Bradley each scored 6 points for the West Memphis girls.