Easy as 2-3

Easy as 2-3

Defensive Lady Devils top Lady Pats

WM School District

Shelia Burns passed out an assist to her counterpart at the Academies of West Memphis.

Burns, the West Memphis Lady Devil head coach, used Blue Devil boys coach Larry Bay’s version of a 2-3 match-up zone in the second half of her team’s 43-34 victory over Marion last Friday night at Patriot Arena.

Burns normally goes with two bigs, 6-4 LaShala Saine and the burly Amesha Brown in her starting lineup and keeps junior center Ty Bullins in reserve as a back-up. In the second half of Friday’s game Burns played all three together in the back of that 2-3 zone and it played a key role in holding Marion to 3 of 20 shooting from the field in the final two quarters.

‘Years ago (Bray) showed me how he uses it,’ said Burns. ‘I used it for a while, but then I just went away from it. I ran this defense in 2003 when we won the state championship, and then I ran across the notes I made from that time and I thought, wow, it would be a great time to use it against the type of personnel that Marion has.’

West Memphis (15-6 overall, 5-3 in the 7A/6A-East Conference) outrebounded Marion 17-10 in the second half and 28-20 for the game.

It was a grinder all the way. Burns’ club can point to defense in claiming the win. The Lady Devils made Marion (7-13, 1-7) earn every point it got.

‘I didn’t think (Marion) got many open looks tonight,’ Burns said. ‘We went out and challenged every shot they took. Many times we stopped their dribble-drive penetration, which is something they do really well.’

The Lady Devils held a slim 18-17 lead at halftime, but they hit the Lady Patriots with an 18-2 run in the third quarter after Marion’s Teiangula Boston swished a three-pointer with 5:38 to play in the stanza to tie the game at 2020.

Even though the visitors led 34-24 with 1:47 to play in the quarter, there was trouble on the horizon. Saine, who scored 7 points and controlled the paint on defense, picked up her fourth foul with 19.1 seconds on the clock.

Burns took her out.

Just 10 seconds later, Brown was issued her fourth as well and she

Photo by Chuck Livingston

LaShala Saine (40) and Amesha Brown trap Marion guard Tyquesha Selvy during last Friday night’s game. headed for the bench as well.

However, the Lady Devils held serve and led 38-30 with 4:23 to play in the game when the aforementioned big girls reentered the game.

‘That was a crucial stretch,’ Burns said. ‘You lose that much size against a big team like Marion…that score can change quick. But our girls did a good job of holding that lead.’

The Lady Devils needed only one free throw by Saine, two by Brown and a layup by Anquanetta Chatt to close out the Patriot.

No West Memphian hit double figures for the night, but there were six Lady Devils to score four or more points, led by Chatt and Sable Greer with 9 apiece. Brown chipped in 8 and Bullins contributed .

Marion’s Jakyya Clay led her club with 8 points while Boston poured in 7 and Tyquesha Selvy had 6.

The Lady Devils host Searcy on Tuesday night.

By Billy Woods