By Conor O'Neill

By Conor O’Neill

OF THE COMMERCIAL STAFF

Pine Bluff girls basketball coach Loy Moore said he thought his team took a step forward after Thursday night’s 47-46 victory over Dumas.

In a 66-44 Saturday victory over Marianna to close the Southeast Arkansas Invitational, Moore said his team regressed.

“I’m embarrassed,” Moore said after the game. “We’re not doing what we’ve been taught. We’re doing what we want to do, and we’re not going to win ballgames by doing that.”

Moore’s words were strong, and the coach was particularly disappointed with the Fillies’ third-quarter effort. After building a 36-11 halftime lead, Pine Bluff was outscored 20-10 in the third quarter.

Turnovers attributed to a lot of the Lady Trojans’ points, with poor zone defense and failure to break the full-court press also playing into the third-quarter struggles.

“It was a lack of focus,” Moore said for the reason he was disappointed. “Not running the offenses, not switching on screens. Just a complete lack of focus.”

After the game, the issue of not running the press-break was a particular thorn in Moore’s side.

“This is a very young team and we’re keeping it very simple,” Moore said of his that has just three seniors on its roster. “We have one man-to-man press-breaker and they wouldn’t run it. Against a good team, we’re going to get beat.”

The Fillies improved to 3-2 with the win and finished with a 2-1 record in the Southeast Arkansas Invitational. Leading the team in scoring was junior guard Victoria Broady, who finished with 18 points.

Pine Bluff also dominated inside the paint, as senior Jalisa Smith (12 points) and junior Marquietta Armour (nine) hauled in several offensive rebounds each.

Moore wasn’t disappointed with the entire effort on Saturday, as he was pleased with the Fillies’ effort to build the 25-point halftime lead.

“Early, our man-defense was excellent,” Moore said. “We tried to work in a little zone and they cut it down to 15, so we went back to man and we lost our intensity.”

To recapture that intensity, Pine Bluff will have to wait for more than a week. The Fillies do not play again until a Nov. 29 game at Dumas.

But before then, the team can look forward to what Moore said will be a “heated” film session.

Jacksonville 61,

Dumas 42

In the first game of Saturday’s action in Pine Bluff, Jacksonville went to 3-0 in the tournament with a win over Dumas. The Devilettes controlled the game from the opening tip and took a 37-24 lead to halftime.