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JACKSONVILLE GIRLS Red Devils take care of business

The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils have handled their business the last two games against Pulaski Academy and Helena-West Helena Central.

The Lady Devils beat the Lady Bruins 63-33 Tuesday night and took down the Lady Cougars 74-36 on Friday.

Jacksonville led throughout at Pulaski Academy, but didn’t really blow them out of the water. Instead, the Lady Devils led 12-3 after the first quarter and gradually increased their lead from there.

“Pulaski Academy is a disciplined team with some pretty good size, so just doing the same thing, either with pressure or playing in half-court isn’t going to work all the time,” Jacksonville coach Katrina Mimms said. “We did get some turnovers with our pressure in the first half, but we couldn’t finish our layups. We got that going later on.”

Jessica Jackson and Shakyla Hill outscored the Lady Bruins by themselves in the win. Hill led all scorers with 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Jackson scored 22 of her 23 points through the first three quarters.

Hills also led Jacksonville against the Lady Cougars with 19 points, while Tiffany Smith added 12 points. Jackson finished with 11 points. Sasha Richardson scored six points in the win.

With most games being essentially decided well before the fourth quarter, coach Mimms has a unique problem facing her team.

“Lately I’ve really been worried about what our conditioning is going to be like,” Mimms said. “We had that long layoff over Christmas, and now some of these starting players are really only playing a half. I’m concerned about what they’re going to have in the tank when they get in that close game.”

While Jacksonville is unlikely to have a real battle in the conference, the problem could arise down the road in the playoffs. The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears will be the next team to try and push Jacksonville to that close game in the fourth quarter when they come to the Devils’ Den on Friday.

“I don’t know a whole lot about Sylvan Hills this year,” said Mimms. “I know they’re one of the teams that is really fighting for a playoff spot, so we’ll get the best they have.”

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