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story.lead_photo.caption Marmaduke’s Abby Meredith (left) tries to keep the ball away from England’s Shavonta Blanks during the Class 2A state championship game in Hot Springs on Saturday. - Photo by Stephen B. Thornton

HOT SPRINGS -- The Marmaduke Lady Greyhounds went to the races in the second half.

Gallery: England vs. Marmaduke
Photo by Stephen B. Thornton
Marmaduke’s Sidnee Bopp (right) helped the Lady Greyhounds overcome a halftime deficit with 12 points in the third quarter.

Senior guard Sidnee Bopp had 27 points and 10 rebounds as Marmaduke overcame a seven-point halftime deficit in a 68-56 victory over England in front of 4,961 at Bank of the Ozarks Arena.

The Lady Greyhounds (41-2) trailed 38-31 at halftime but outscored England 37-18 in the second half. They shot 55.6 percent (15 of 27) in the final two quarters and finished 27 of 62 (43.5 percent) overall from the floor.

Marmaduke won its first state championship two years after losing in the Class 2A final to Norphlet.

"We haven't had too many close games," said Marmaduke Coach Rick Smith, who is in his fifth season at the school. "I figured England would bring it. Defensively, we did a great job in the second half but we just kept running.

"That's what we do. We just run."

Bopp, who has signed with Conference USA member Western Kentucky, scored 12 of her 27 points in the third quarter when Marmaduke made its charge.

"Sidnee's pretty good. She always has been," Smith said. "She knew she needed to score tonight. It was a great performance. It's what you want to do in your last game."

England Coach David Mackey, who led the Lady Lions to 2A titles in 2011 and 2012, said his team had no answer for Bopp.

"She's an outstanding player," Mackey said. "She does a phenomenal job. It's hard to keep one person on her at all times. Even when we put two on her, she's able to find the open man.

"She has a bright future in college, and we wish her the best."

Senior guard Allison Hampton gave the Lady Greyhounds their first lead, 43-42, with 6:22 left in the third quarter. That was part of a 17-2 run that was punctuated by junior guard Kelsey McCoy's three-pointer that extended the lead to 48-42.

Junior guard Julia Bryant's jumper cut the Lady Greyhounds' lead to 56-49 with 3:06 to go in the third quarter. Bryant's basket proved to be England's last as the Lady Lions were held without a field goal for the final 11:06.

Marmaduke outscored England 28-14 in the third quarter and led 59-52 going into the fourth quarter.

Both teams were scoreless for the first 4:08 of the fourth quarter until sophomore guard Jordan Mays scored for the Lady Greyhounds to push the lead to 61-52 with 3:52 to go.

England jumped out to a 19-6 lead and led 20-10 at the end of the first quarter. Senior guard Madison Price's three-point play cut the lead to 28-25 with 2:50 left in the second quarter, but England led 38-31 at halftime, shooting 46.2 percent from the floor (12 of 26).

The second half was a different story for the Lady Lions as they were held to 4-of-28 shooting (14.3 percent) and finished at 29.6 percent (16 of 54) overall.

"We wanted to be the person that's in attack mode," Mackey said. "That got them back on their heels early, but foul trouble got us a little bit."

The Lady Lions (30-7) were led by junior guard Alesha Pennister, who had 13 points. Bryant had 12 points and sophomore post Shavonta Blanks added 11 points and nine rebounds.

Bopp said she was proud to bring Marmaduke its first state championship, capping a 41-victory season in which the Lady Greyhounds beat Class 5A members Batesville, Greene County Tech and Paragould. Greene County Tech won the 5A-East this season.

"A small school like us can win," Bopp said. "We don't just play 2A teams. We played Paragould and [Greene County] Tech and beat them. Just because we're a small school doesn't mean we're going to lay down to other schools if they're bigger and stronger."

MVP

SIDNEE BOPP, MARMADUKE

Marmaduke senior guard Sidnee Bopp matched her first-half points total with 12 in the third quarter as the Lady Greyhounds overcame a 38-31 halftime deficit to beat England for their first Class 2A state championship. Bopp finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 steals. The Western Kentucky signee made 11 of 17 from the floor and 5 of 9 at the free-throw line.

AND ONES

Marmaduke won its first Class 2A state championship. The Lady Greyhounds lost to Norphlet in the 2013 2A final. … England was held without a field goal for the final 11:06. … The Lady Lions made their third state final appearance in five seasons. They won the 2A title in 2011 and 2012. … Marmaduke outscored England 37-18 in the second half.

— Jeremy Muck

Quotable

“He wasn’t going to let us shoot 19 threes to beat him.”

Maumelle Coach Rick Smith, on England Coach David Mackey’s game plan. The Lady Greyhounds were held to 2 of 13 from behind the three-point line but won 68-56.

Sports on 03/15/2015

Print Headline: Marmaduke runs away from England

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