Morris gives boost to NLR girls

Posted: February 7, 2018 at 2:22 a.m.

CONWAY -- Yo'Myris Morris did not play in North Little Rock's first meeting with Conway. In Tuesday's rematch, the 6-2 senior was the difference.

Morris scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the top-ranked Lady Charging Wildcats held off the No. 3 Lady Wampus Cats 72-68 in a key 7A-Central Conference game at Buzz Bolding Arena.

Morris scored seven points in the final 4:59 and North Little Rock (20-3, 8-1) hit 13 of 15 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

"She makes us a little bit better," NLR Coach Daryl Fimple said of Morris, who missed the Jan. 9 meeting with a sprained ankle. "We did a great job of penetrating the zone and creating some shots for Yo'Myris. We got her active early and took advantage inside."

Like the first meeting -- which Conway won 69-64 -- North Little Rock held an 11-point lead heading into the final eight minutes, but this time Conway (20-3, 7-2) could not come up with enough firepower to muster a comeback.

It was, however, not without a gutsy effort by the host team. Junior guard Myia Yelder scored 17 of her game-high 24 points in the second half. Junior point guard Asiyha Smith scored 14 of her 21 points in the game's final 4:17.

North Little Rock led 68-56 with 1:49 remaining. Conway got as close as the four-point final margin but never had an opportunity for a game-tying possession.

"I saw us go through a lot frustration in that first game," Morris said. "We didn't do the little things that really count. But we played our game tonight. All that frustration, we just let it go."

North Little Rock outrebounded Conway 14-6 in the second half and built as much as a 15-point advantage with 4:59 to play.

"I thought they killed us on the boards and them having Yo'Myris back was a big factor for them," Conway Coach Ashley Nance said. "But I thought there at the end we made a good comeback. I think that's just how we're going to match up against them, hopefully one more time."

North Little Rock never trailed after the 3:55 mark of the first quarter. The Lady Charging Wildcats scored eight consecutive points to grab a 13-7 lead.

Conway cut North Little Rock's lead to 20-18 midway through the second quarter after a layup from senior center Cardrina Nolen, but nine consecutive North Little Rock points left Conway playing catch-up the remainder of the game.

North Little Rock led 31-24 at the half.

Kennady Tucker hit 8 of 8 free-throw attempts and matched Morris' 16 points. An'nyah Pettus came off the bench to add 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Nolen and Alyssa Netherlain both finished with 10 points, but Conway had only five players score.

North Little Rock finished with a 29-22 rebounding advantage. The Lady Charging Wildcats were 23 of 51 from the floor while Conway was 19 of 49.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK (72)

Neal 2 0-0 4, Hawkison 2 0-0 5, Brown 2 3-4 7, Morris 7 2-3 16, Tucker 3 8-8 16, Pettus 4 6-8 14, Ott 1 0-0 3, Mackey 0 2-2 2, Carnagie 2 1-1 5. Totals 23 22-26 72.

CONWAY (68)

Pickens 0 0-0 0, Roetzel 1 0-0 3, Yelder 8 5-6 24, Smith 4 10-13 21, Nolen 3 3-4 10, Netherlain 3 1-2 10, Chatman 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 19-25 68.

NLR (20-3);13;18;17;24 -- 72

Conway (20-3);9;15;13;31 -- 68

Three-point goals -- NLR 4 (Tucker 2, Ott, Hawkison); Conway 11 (Yelder 3, Smith 3, Netherlain 3, Roetzel, Nolen). Team fouls -- NLR 17, Conway 20. Fouled out -- Yelder.

Sports on 02/07/2018