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MAUMELLE GIRLS BASKETBALL | Conference play starts this week; road trip to Mena next

Even though the Maumelle Lady Hornets missed two games last week because of the weather, Coach Rodney Gilmore said the two games they did were play enough for them to learn a few things.

Maumelle (0-4) had a non-conference matchup last Tuesday with Pulaski Academy and suffered a 15-point loss. Last Thursday, they meet Central Arkansas Christian in the Ortho Arkansas Tournament and also experienced defeat. More games were planned in the tournament but the weather wreaked havoc on the schedule.

“I told you last week was going to be hell week,” Gilmore said. “The PA bunch is really, really, really good, and we had lots of turnovers. CAC returns a lot of players, and we were well overmatched.”

With conference play beginning this week, the two contests were good preparation for games last night against Pottsville and on Friday at Mena. After not matching up well with last week’s opponents, Gilmore says the Lady Hornets’ conference foes are better suited for his team. He was impressed last week with the way Maumelle handled CAC’s press.

“We made them pull out of it but missed a lot of shots underneath the basket,” Gilmore said. “We didn’t finish at all very well. Some of the sophomores had great games and cut down on their turnovers and attacked the basket. “

Gilmore touted the play of several players including senior post Morgan Fimpel and senior point guard Alexis Ellis. Fimple is averaging 20 points a game and Ellis is at 10. In the last three games, sophomore Kamri Summons is averaging 10 points a game and sophomores Alyssa Robinson and Kayla Woods-Gray are averaging eight.

“Everybody is chipping in,” Gilmore said. “Moving Alexis to point has given us some stability, and she wants to do it.”

Pulaski Academy and CAC were teams that like to run the ball, and Gilmore found out his Lady Hornets are getting back on defense better and even drew some charge calls. However, now that Maumelle is in conference play, the style of play will change.

“Basically, the style is old school, half-court,” Gilmore said. “That is how our conference is. “

Gilmore is hoping for two wins this week, but even a 1-1 mark would be O.K. He figures not winning a game this week will put Maumelle in a nice hole in the conference standings.

“Every game here on out, except for Clarksville really is a must-win,” Gilmore said. “I’m going to look at the positive. Last year we started off the same way then when conference started, we went on a tear.”

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