West Memphis High School Athletics


Lady Devils whiff on opportunity to seize first place, lose to Tech


WM School District | 2/25/2020

PHOTO CREDIT: West Memphis High School Athletics

The opportunity was there for the West Memphis Lady Devils here on Tuesday night.

It was the perfect storm that even they themselves couldn't have concocted. Coming into the game against 5A-East Conference also-rans Greene County Tech, all the Lady Devils had to do was win.

Because at the same time, Jonesboro upset Nettleton, which would have given the Lady Devils first place all to themselves in the conference with just one game remaining on the regular-season schedule.

With all that staring them right in the face, the Lady Devils just couldn't get it going against Greene County Tech, losing 70-56.

Tied with Nettleton for first place in league play with a 10-2 record when action began on Tuesday night, the Lady Devils could have secured themselves of playing for a conference championship on Friday night at home.

But Greene County Tech head coach Matt Dean spread out the Lady Devil defense and back-doored them to death.

"I didn't see the spread offense coming," West Memphis head coach Shelia Burns bristled after the game. "We did not play good man-to-man defense tonight. No help-side defense...nothing tonight."

Although the Lady Devils shot only 31 percent, they took 21 more shots from the field as Greene County Tech, as the team's 24-19 edge in rebounds would attest, the biggest problem all night was the West Memphis defense, which allowed Tech (6-19, 3-10) to shoot a blistering 66 percent from the floor.

After West Memphis' Aryah Hazley opened the game by elegantly swishing a three-pointer, it was all Greene County Tech. The hosts never trailed for the rest of the game.

"What hurt us tonight was not having (Tiera Bradley) in the game," said Burns. "When we were forced to play man-to-man, we couldn't put T-Baby in the game because she can't play man-to-man. That hurt us inside."

Tech led 15-9 at the end of one quarter and 26-17 at halftime.

Even at that point, the Lady Devils seemed to be in decent shape, but when the Lady Eagles began the fourth quarter on an 11-1 run, it was all she wrote for the West Memphis girls.

It gave Tech a 55-36 lead with 4:35 to play in the contest.

Once again, the Lady Devils couldn't get enough offense outside of their two guards, Hazley and freshman Janiyah Tucker, who scored 17 and 16 points respectively, 15 of which came from freshman Clemisha Prackett.

The two combined for 33 points. The rest of the team only scored 17.

Senior Night on Friday night now awaits the Lady Devils, where they will play Mountain Home for a shot at second place or third place.