Back to State: Lady Bobcats dominate Morrilton in regional
By Scott Loftis
MORRILTON — The Berryville Lady Bobcats apparently weren’t in the mood for any suspense Thursday night in the first round of the 4A North Regional Tournament.
Berryville took the lead 13 seconds into the game and never relinquished it as the Lady Bobcats routed Morrilton 53-30 on the Lady Devil Dogs’ home floor at Devil Dog Arena.
The victory sends Berryville back to the Class 4A State Tournament, where they’ve advanced to the semifinals each of the past three seasons. The state tournament begins Tuesday, Feb. 26 in Magnolia.
The Lady Bobcats (27-3) will face Magnolia (23-7) in a regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday.
Senior guard Baylea Smith set the tone for Berryville with three three-pointers in the first quarter, including one just before the buzzer for a 17-8 lead. Smith finished with 14 points to lead three Lady Bobcats in double figures. Senior forward Hannah Morrell added 12 points and junior guard Lexy Anderson scored 11.
Berryville’s defense stymied Morrilton (19-8) throughout the game, especially in the second quarter when the Lady Devil Dogs scored just two points. The Lady Bobcats finished the first half on a 16-2 run over the final 11:12 and led 27-10 at halftime.
Morrilton got within 13 points early in the third quarter but Berryville put it away with a 12-3 run capped by a three-point play by senior forward Kelcee Hopper that made it 45-21 with 3:04 left in the game.
Hopper had seven points, senior guard McKayla Hussey scored six and sophomore guard Lilli Compton added four for the Lady Bobcats, who continually found open teammates for easy baskets.