Chicks lose heartbreaker to Blue Devils

Friday, January 27, 2017
Blytheville's Josh Richardson rebounds against West Memphis Friday.

Blytheville's AJ Love misfired on a potential game-tying three-pointer in the closing seconds, and the Chickasaws lost a heartbreaker to 5A/6A-East conference rival West Memphis, 50-45, Friday night in front of a large crowd at Chickasaw Gym.

After the miss, West Memphis' Kelsey Hubbard scored in transition to set the final margin and hand the Chicks their fourth straight defeat.

Had Love connected on the three and potentially sent the game to overtime, Blytheville would have been without two of its top scorers, Winston Peace and Josh Richardson, who fouled out on consecutive West Memphis possessions in the final minute attempting to block out Blue Devil Zachary Byrd, who dominated the glass down the stretch.

Byrd snagged offensive rebounds on four straight West Memphis trips to the free throw line in the final two minutes of the game, and he swiped a key steal.

Blytheville's Tony Newmy drained a three-pointer to tie the game, 45-45, with 2:12 left in a seesaw fourth period.

West Memphis missed the front end of a one-and-one on the other end, but Byrd snagged one of his 12 rebounds. He missed the two free throws, though went 2 of 4 at the line, after getting offensive rebounds on missed free throws and drawing the fifth fouls on Peace and Richardson, respectively, on the next two possessions. The free throws helped West Memphis to a 48-45 lead with 40.9 seconds left.

The Chicks (11-10, 5-7 5A/6A-East) called timeout to set up for their last shot. West Memphis connected on just 4 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter and 7 of 21 for the game, while the Chicks made 10 of 19 in the game.

Blytheville raced to a 14-2 lead early in the game, connecting on three three-pointers in the first quarter and leading 15-6 going into the second period.

West Memphis (18-1, 11-1 5A/6A-East) chipped away at the Blytheville lead in the second quarter, cutting the advantage to 26-25 by halftime. Blue Devil Kelsey Hubbard exploded for 11 of his game-high 18 in the third quarter, as West Memphis grabbed the lead, up by five at one point. The Chicks trailed 38-36 going into the fourth.

Newmy led Blytheville with 10 points, while Austin Phelan added nine and Winston Peace eight. AJ Love scored six, Tydarius Pope and Bobby Cook four each, Josh Richardson three and Tremaine Jamison one. Chris Moore had 14 for West Memphis.

In the senior girls game, the Lady Chickasaws fell to West Memphis, 63-47.

Laurissa Campbell led Blytheville with 14, while Alindavia Lockett added 13.

The Chicks and Lady Chicks travel to Greene County Tech on Tuesday night.