by Michael D. Gunnell
Southwest Sports Information
The Lady Bears had a tough time of it Monday night in Ellisville as they fell to the 3rd-ranked Jones County Lady Bobcats 78-56 in MACJC South Division action.
With the loss the Lady Bears dropped to 16-4 overall and, at 7-4, to third place in the South (the top four teams advance to the state tournament in two weeks). Jones County climbed to 17-3, 10-1.
The Lady Bears stayed close to their hosts through the first quarter. A layup from Keturah Bingham and a Keturah Bingham free throw left the Lady Bears up 5-0 early in the opening quarter. Jones County then scored nine of the next 12 points to take a 9-8 lead with 4:23 on the clock and they went on to hold a 17-12 advantage at the end of the period.
Scoring 13 of the first 20 points of the second quarter, Jones County took a 30-19 lead with 6:13 left before halftime. A Bingham free throw with 5:03 on the clock trimmed the Lady Bears' deficit to 30-24. Jones County then closed the half on a 14-2 run to extend their lead to 44-26.
Jones County expanded their lead to 48-31 in the third quarter before the Lady Bears scored six straight to narrow the gap to 48-37 with 4:19 on the clock. Jones County then scored six of the final eight points on the quarter to push their lead to 54-39 with one quarter remaining. With 6:09 left in the game, Jones County grabbed their largest lead of the game, 68-41, and they went on to record the 22-point win.
"We had too many unforced errors, too many missed shots to win this one tonight," said Lady Bears head coach Brent Harris. "(But) there were some defensive assignments that we executed and I thought Keturah was a presence inside."
Bingham score 18 points to top the Lady Bears' offense while Lewis was also in double figures with 11 points. Keturah Bingham registered 9 assists. The Lady Bears made 14 of 19 free throws.
Jones County was led by Nique Cherry's 20 points. She and her teammates went 9-10 at the free throw line.
The Lady Bears make their last road trip of the regular season, and face another crucial South Division test, Thursday night when they face arch-rival Co-Lin in Wesson. Tipoff is set for 6:00.