Season ends for Lady Bobcats in Final Four game at state

Sunday, March 16, 2003
Lady Bobcat Christina McNeal, No. 30, scored the first two points against Lonoke last week in the second round of the Class AAA State Tournament, and helped lead the team to a 38-35 win and a place in the Final Four. Teammate Lindsey Moore, No. 20, looked to rebound. CCN/David McNeal

The season has to end sometime; and it did, one game too soon, for the Berryville Lady Bobcat basketball team on Monday at the Class AAA State Tournament in Prescott.

The DeQueen Lady Leopards (28-3) took a 50-35 win to move into the championship game this Saturday in Pine Bluff, ending the Lady Bobcats season with a 21-13 record while leaving them one game short of the goal they set earlier this year, a state title.

A horrendous cold spell left the Lady Bobcats scoreless in the second quarter and they were never able to completely catch up after that, although they got to within six several times the second half.

Seniors Sheena Spielberg and Christina McNeal led the team in scoring, as they have all season, netting 14 and 10 points respectively, but DeQueen grabbed most every rebound from Berryville's misses, then hit 10 of 12 free throws in the final three minutes to ice the win.

CLASS AAA STATE

Berryville vs. DeQueen

9-10, 9-20, 22-29, 35-50

The Lady Bobcats got to the Final Four game behind strong defense and the ability to hit outside shots when they needed them.

In the first quarter, McNeal and Stephanie Hicks hit the boards hard and scored to keep it close, with Hicks scoring twice. Danyaile Hagler hit a three to give Berryville a 9-8 lead with 1:35 to go, then the wheels fell off.

DeQueen led 10-9 going into the second quarter, and Berryville's defense never faltered, holding the high-scoring Lady Leopards to just 10 points that quarter.

But the Lady Bobcat's shots just wouldn't go in, and DeQueen's Shana Smith gobbled up rebound after rebound as the gap widened.

Berryville went scoreless for about 11:30 of the first and second quarters, and didn't score until McNeal swished a three with 4:45 to play in the third to make it 28-15, DeQueen.

Spielberg went to work in the third to help get the team close, scoring nine of her 14 points that quarter to make it 29-22 going into the final period.

McNeal started the final quarter with a deuce to cut DeQueen's lead to 29-24, and she scored six points that quarter as she showed the determination and heart of a true champion.

Lindsey Moore got untracked and scored all three of her points in the final five minutes, but in spite of great efforts by them all, DeQueen hit the free throws and took the win.

At the end, Coach Mitch Myrick mixed seniors Lora Spurgin, LaTisha Smith, and Sarah Wilson in with Kristy Wharton, Spielberg, McNeal, and Moore as a big group of Berryville fans gave the seven seniors a big round of applause.

Scoring- BV- Spielberg14; McNeal- 10, 2 3's; Hicks- 5; Hagler- 3; Moore- 3. Team- 3/6 Fts. DQ- LIndsey Dooley- 14; Shana Smith- 11; Tamara Bowers- 10.; Harrison- 6; Neely 5; Helbig- 4. Team- 18/25 Fts., 13/16 4th.

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