Young DC girls drop close game at Warren

So far in 2017-18, the same thing that bugged Drew Central head girls’ basketball coach Michael Goad about last winter has reaed its ugly head again.
“We had too many missed shots,” Goad lamented after a 45-36 loss at Warren got the Lady Pirates’ Class 34-4A, District 12 season underway Tuesday night. “We didn’t play well at all. We missed a ton of layups and free throws.”
Dropping DC to 2-1 on the young season, the Lady ’Jacks charged back from a four-point halftime decifit and held their visitors to single digits in each of the final two quarters. Junior Charlayah Ridgell led the Lady Pirates with 20 points but no other DC player could manage to reach double figures. The good thing about the loss, though, is that DC will not have much time to dwell on it.
Thursday, Drew Central visits Hamburg before hosting the third Annual Mini-State Tournamwnt at Drew Central Gymnasium this weekend. The Lady Pirates will face Alpina at 6:30 p.m. on Ftiday and Valley Springs at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Then, it’s on to the first round of the “Showdown in M-Town” series with Monticello. Since both local schools are technically in the same league in the last year of the Arkansas Activities Association’s experiment with “blended conferences,” Monticello and Drew Central will meet twice in 2017-18—as they did last winter. The first matchup is Tuesday, Dec. 5; three games (junior girls and both senior teams) tip off at 5 p.m. at Drew Central Gymnasium. The Lady Pirates will visit Monticello’s Dan Coston Field House on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.
Aside from the quick turnaround, Goad said Tuesday’s game    was good in that it was against a good 4A team. The Mini-State Tournament will further help prepare his young team for the rigors of the conference schedule, Goad noted, which begins in earnest when DC hosts Fordyce on Turesday, Dec. 12.
And, while the Lady Pirates won’t be quite as busy as their male counterparts (who play 10 games over the next 20 days), games against Lake Village Lalkeside (on Friday, Dec. 15) and at Crossett (on Tuesday, Dec. 19) should more than prepare DC for its host role in the Commercial Bank Southeast Arkansas Holiday Basketball Touranment. That gathering is scheduled for Drew Central Gymnasium Dec. 27-29. 
That game is important because it will begin determining the seedings for the 8-3A district tournament (Feb. 12-17, 2018 at a site yet to be determined). The “blended conference” will revert back to its original classifications for the postseason, so any league games against teams other than Monticello, Crossett, Hamburg and Warren will count toward the 8-3A tournament.
At Warren, a 13-4 second quarter helped Drew Central assume a 19-15 halftime lead but the hosts scored 30 points in the second 16 minutes (15 in each of the third and fourth quarters) while holding Drew Central to eight and nine points, respectively, to send the Lady Pirates to their first loss.
Goad noted, too, that the games this weekend againat Alpena and Valley Springs—two perennial state playoff programs from North Arkansas—should give the Lady Pirates an early indication of where they stand in hopes of bettering last year’s 15-12 overall record.
A stated goal for the Drew Central girls is to make a return trip to the 3A state playoffs. With a first-round loss in the 8-3A district tournament in 2016-17, they failed to make it to the state tournament for only he second time in Goad’s tenure at Drew Central.

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