MONTICELLO — The championship plaque for the girls 2011 Southeast Arkansas Holiday Tournament won't be traveling very far.
MONTICELLO — The championship plaque for the girls 2011 Southeast Arkansas Holiday Tournament won’t be traveling very far.
Chelsey Rhodes scored 19 points and Erin Campbell and Deanna Martin added 12 points apiece as the Monticello Lady Billies defeated Little Rock McClellan 55-32 Friday at Steelman Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
The Lady Billies (10-2) won the tournament championship for the second consecutive year.
“They played well,” Monticello Coach Lucy Williams said of her team. “The defense stepped it up. (Rhodes) hit some threes and (Campbell) played well.”
Monticello and McClellan split two games as conference rivals two years ago, when this season’s seniors were sophomores, and Williams said she reminded her team before Friday’s game that defensive lapses and failure to control the pace could have dire consequences against McClellan’s quickness and athleticism.
The Lady Billies took their coach’s words to heart, playing with defensive intensity and controlling the pace with sharp passing and a balanced scoring attack.
Monticello never trailed, and took firm control of the game with a 17-0 run that covered the final 5:14 of the second quarter and the first minute of the third quarter.
That run transformed a 20-12 advantage late in the first quarter to a 37-12 cushion early in the second half.
Rhodes played a key role in the run, hitting a three-pointer with 1:28 left in the second quarter to make it 32-12 and adding two free throws with 32.2 seconds left to set the halftime margin at 35-12.
Campbell opened the second-half scoring with a basket from inside the lane, and after McClellan finally responded with a three-pointer, Rhodes hit from behind the arc to push Monticello’s lead to 43-15 with 6:11 remaining in the third quarter.
The Lady Billies ultimately stretched their advantage to 35 points, at 55-20 before McClellan scored the game’s final 12 points.