March 8, 2017 Edition

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Hoxie's Kaitlin Henson shoots a free throw during the semifinals of the Class 3A State Basketball Tournament at Bald Knob on Saturday as teammate Sydney Gillham lines up to rebound. The Lady Mustangs advanced to the finals with a 58-45 win over Greenland.

Hoxie Lady Mustangs
advance to state finals

The Hoxie senior girls basketball team is one win away from a state championship. The Lady Mustangs will play Valley Springs in the 3A title game on Friday at 5:15 p.m. at the Convention Center in Hot Springs.

Hoxie School will dismiss at noon on Friday to allow individuals time to travel to the game.

Semifinals

Hoxie earned its berth in the title game by defeating the Greenland Lady Pirates 58-45 in the semifinal round on Saturday at Bald Knob.

The Lady Mustangs jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game and led 17-6 at the end of the first quarter. Hoxie stretched the lead to 26-12 at the intermission, as the Lady Mustangs'defense limited Greenland to two field goals, both three-pointers, in the second quarter.

Greenland's shots began falling in the third period, enabling them to close to within 10 points on two occasions. Hoxie would not let the Lady Pirates get any closer and carried a 40-25 lead into the final period.

Hoxie threatened to make it a blowout, extending the lead to 44-29 with six minutes remaining. Greenland refused to go quietly and cut Hoxie's lead to 54-44 with just over a minute to play, but the Lady Mustangs kept their poise and held on for the win.

Devyn Pollard led Hoxie with 19 points and seven steals, while Kaitlyn Henson finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Sydney Gillham added 13 points.

Quarterfinals

Hoxie outlasted Jessieville's girls for a hard-earned 62-57 win in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Lady Mustangs led 16-13 after one quarter, 28-26 at halftime and 40-39 after three quarters. Jessieville took the lead at 49-48, but the Lady Mustangs answered with a bucket to regain the lead at 50-49. A free throw by the Lady Lions tied the game at 50-50 with four minutes to play.

Jessieville jumped in front again at 53-52, but Hoxie closed the game on a 10-4 run to take the victory.

Gillham led the Lady Mustangs with 20 points and four blocked shots. Pollard had 15 points, Bekah Kopp finished with 10 points and Emily Davis scored eight points.

First round

The Lady Mustangs began their run in the state tournament by defeating the Harding Academy Lady Wildcats 50-40 in a first-round game on Feb. 28.

The game was tightly contested in the first half, with the Lady Wildcats leading 7-6 after the first quarter, and the teams going to the locker room at halftime tied at 17-17.

Hoxie began to take control after the break, outscoring Harding 16-8 in the third quarter to move into a 33-25 lead. A free throw by Pollard gave the Lady Mustangs their biggest lead at 40-29 with 5:40 to play. Hoxie was able to hold the Lady Wildcats at bay, despite making only four-of-11 free throws in the game.

Gillham had 20 points for the Lady Mustangs. Pollard scored 19 points, including her 1,000th career point.

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