West Memphis High School Athletics


Eaton onslaught too much for Lady Devils


WM School District | 2/14/2020

PHOTO CREDIT: West Memphis High School Athletics

The West Memphis Lady Devils have seen enough of Elauna Eaton.

The 6-foot-1 lefty-shooting guard-forward-center left an indelible imprint on the Lady Devils this season after she fired in a game-high 38 points on Friday night at Lehr Arena to lead Nettleton to a 65-61 victory over the West Memphis girls.

The onslaught by Eaton, bound for the University of Arkansas, gave her 69 points in two games against West Memphis. It also put the Lady Raiders (22-3 overall, 9-1 in the 5A-East Conference) in first place all to themselves in league standings after coming into the contest tied for first with the Lady Devils (19-5, 8-2).

"She's good," Lady Devils head coach Shelia Burns said of Eaton. "She's by far the best player in Arkansas."

It took Eaton all of six seconds to send a warning to the West Memphis girls. Nettleton controlled the opening tip, took one pass to Eaton, who didn't hesitate putting up a three-pointer that found nothing but the bottom of the net.

She then hit her first six shots of the night, all from three-point range, and the Lady Devils now know how the Atlanta Braves felt in the top of the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS.

Nettleton was on top of the hosts 15-0 just four minutes into the game.

"We didn't even have time to get settled in," said Burns. "I knew if we didn't get out on (Eaton) that that would happen. It happened so fast."

And Nettleton didn't let up the entire game.

The Lady Raiders shot a torrid 12 of 17 from the bonus arc for 71 percent. Eaton scored 24 of her points in the first half, in which she missed only three shots.

Despite the early 15-point deficit, the Lady Devils went about chipping away at it. Nettleton led 25-8 after one quarter, but the hosts outscored the Lady Raiders 20-11 in the second quarter and found themselves down only 36-28 at halftime.

However, each time the Lady Devils got within smelling distance, Eaton and teammate Briley Pena, who added 11 points, answered strongly.

A layup from West Memphis junior Terika Inmon cut the Nettleton lead to 44-38 in the third quarter, but the Lady Raiders closed the stanza scoring the final seven points to take a 51-38 lead into the fourth quarter.

Then in the fourth quarter, an Inmon basket sliced the Nettleton lead to 55-50, but Eaton responded with four straight free throws.

"We had several opportunities in the game to give up, but I will say we kept fighting back," said Burns.

Finally, a basket after a steal by Aryah Hazley, whose 20 points topped the West Memphis scoring, cut the lead to 61-58 with 47 seconds still to play.

The Lady Devils got one chance at tying, but suffered a turnover, leading to four consecutive free throws from Pena to ice it for Nettleton.

Ninth-grader Janiyah Tucker added 15 points and Inmon scored 9 for the Lady Devils.