MAGNOLIA — It was a heart breaking end to an outstanding season. The De Queen girls basketball team missed reaching the final four of the class 4A state tournament by four points. The Lady Leopards lost to Harrison 45-42 in a game where the ball always seemed to bounce Harrison’s way.
For the second game in a row, De Queen’s opponent had trouble missing in the first quarter. With its offense spread from sideline to sideline, Harrison hit five long distance three pointers en route to 19 opening period points.
The Lady Leopards put the ball in the hoop, but not points on the board. A dozen seconds into the game Ashlyn Chambers’ three point attempt bounced straight up off the rim and touched the backboard’s retraction cable before falling through the hoop. No basket.
At 6:37 of the first, Chambers drove the baseline and put the ball in after a collision with a defender. The call was not a foul but traveling.
A minute later Ashley Dykes split the defense for a lay-up and may have been touched by a defender as she left the floor. This time the call was a foul before the shot. Still no points.
The first quarter clock was down to 2:17 when Josie Burke made a basket the officials let stand. Abby Dykes hit a trey, but the initial quarter came to an end with Harrison up 19-5. It was the only period in which De Queen was outscored.
In the second quarter the Lady Leopards scored nine. Ashley Dykes hit a trey and a free throw. Chambers hit a three (and had a two disallowed on a traveling call) and Tatyana Tramble made two from the line.
Harrison was nearly shut out. Nine seconds remained in the half when Marion Groberg scored.
Harrison’s lead had been cut to 21-14 at the intermission.
The second half opened with a basket by Burke. Maddie Martin hit a three to get De Queen within 21-19. Brylie Parker and Groberg scored to put Harrison up by six.
With a deep bench, Harrison utilized a physical defense that amassed fouls, but never had anyone in danger of fouling out. Chambers made a free throw with 4:25 to go in the third quarter. Burke made one at 3:24.
Ashley Dykes made a two at 2:01 and another two at :54 that cut the lead to 26-25. The period was half a minute too long for De Queen.
Harrison’s Sydney Schrum scored and was fouled at :30. She missed the free throw. De Queen got the rebound but lost the ball out of bounds.
Caroline Cecil hit a trey with nine seconds remaining to put Harrison back up by 31-25.
The fourth was pretty much a basket for basket affair. Brynn Oleson scored her only basket of the game for Harrison. De Queen lost its fifth basket of the contest when Ashley Dykes was called for a walk.
Burke’s bucket at 6:09 made it 33-27. Groberg hit for Harrison. Burke for De Queen. Groberg scored again, but so did Burke.
Cecil hit two free throws at 2:50 to make it 39-31, but Chambers connected on a trey at 1:13.
Harrison may have gotten a break when traveling was not called when a De Queen trap forced an off balance pass preceded by some iffy foot work. The play was followed by Parker making two at the line at 1:04.
Ashley Dykes hit a three pointer that got the Lady Leopards within 41-37 with :45 remaining. She then made both chances at the foul line with :28 seconds left, but Parker made two at :22 for a 43-40 lead.
Dykes made two more free throws at :09 to make it a one point game. A quick foul sent Parker to the line a second later. Her first shot was off target, but De Queen’s luck held. After three bounces, the ball fell through. The second shot was all net and Harrison had a three point lead.
The Lady Leopards managed to get off a last second shot, but Tramble’s effort under pressure was wide.
Ashley Dykes led De Queen’s scoring with 16 points, including two treys and 10 of 11 at the foul line. Burke finished with 11 points. Chambers had seven. Abby Dykes and Martin each scored three and Tramble two.
De Queen had 13 fouls and made 14 of 19 free throw attempts.
Parker had 14 points and Groberg 10 for Harrison. HHS had 19 fouls and sank eight of 11 at the line.
De Queen - Highland
De Queen survived the first round with a 46-43 win over Highland who hit a trey at the buzzer to make it closer.
The Lady Leopards kept plugging away and finally overcame a blazing start by the Rebels.
Ashley Dykes hit a three with 3:03 left in the game to put Highland behind for the first time at 39-38.
A miss on the other end was rebounded by Maddie Martin who dribbled awhile then passed. The De Queen guards kept the ball moving until Abby Dykes was fouled with 1:40 left. She made her first attempt but missed the second. Josie Burke rebounded and passed back to Dykes who was fouled again. She made both chances for a 42-36 lead with 1:33 to go.
Martin made a steal at 1:08. Dykes made two more free throws at :56. Cheyenne Yates scored for Highland to make the score 44-40 with :33 to go.
Ashley Dykes made one of two at :14. Ashlyn Chambers rebounded the miss and made one of two with :10 left.
Yates beat the buzzer with a trey for Highland to cut the final margin to 46-43.
Highland’s best quarter was the first. After two scoreless minutes Briley Pena hit a free throw for the game’s first points. Macy Qualls followed with two from the line for a 3-0 HHS lead.
Only 4:19 remained in the opening period when Martin got De Queen’s first point on a free throw.
Highland’s defense, led by 6-1 Abby Dietsche, dominated in the first quarter. Macy Qualls put in eight points as Highland took a 15-5 lead by the start of the second.
Dietsche scored the first two buckets of the second period to put the Rebels up 19-5 before the Lady Leopards deciphered the HHS defense.
With De Queen trailing 25-11, Tatyana Tramble and Martin had De Queen’s first set of back to back baskets and started a 10-3 Lady Leopard run to end the first half. The gap at intermission was down to 26-20.
Highland, showing signs of fatigue late in the second quarter, got a reprieve with the halftime break and scored four of the first six points in the third quarter. However, De Queen went on an 8-2 run to get the gap down to 32-30 before Briley Pena made her final field goal in the waning seconds. De Queen began the fourth down 34-30.
Burke scored for the Lady Leopards, but Qualls made her final basket at 6:16 to increase the gap to 36-32. Martin cut it to two with a basket at 6:02.
Dietsche, who had not scored since a pair of free throws with 6:28 in the third, left the game with 5:18 to go after hitting her head on the floor in a fall.
When play resumed Burke scored to tie at 36-36 with 5:05 to go. Highland’s last hurrah came when Pena made a final two free throws to regain the lead at 3:23. Twenty seconds later, Dykes put De Queen ahead to stay.
Highland scored nine points in the fourth quarter, five in the final 33 seconds, three in the final second.
Burke led the Lady Leopard scoring with 20 points, 10 in each half.
Abby Dykes and Ashley Dykes each hit a trey and scored eight points. Martin tallied six. Tramble had three and Chambers one.
De Queen committed a dozen fouls and made 14 of 22 at the foul line, including seven of 10 in the final 1:40.
Pena paced Highland with 14 points, including eight of Highland’s 17 in the second half.
Qualls had 12, 10 in the first half. Dietsche scored 11, nine in the first half. Yates had five points, all in the final :33. Molly McBride added one.
Highland had 20 fouls, six in the final 1:40, and made 12 of 14 free throws/