Both coaches impressed with Hot Springs in losing effort against fifth-ranked Lady Wolves

Lady Wolves
An unidentified Hot Spriings player appears to have a basketball for a head. Lake Hamilton's Lady Wolves remained unbeaten in 5A South with a 49-34 win.


PEARCY, Ark. – Hot Springs coach Josh Smith felt his girls played a good game against fifth-ranked Lake Hamilton Friday night at the Wolf Den. The Lady Wolves’ coach Blake Condley thought the same thing, but it didn’t prevent the Wolves from staying unbeaten in 5A South.

Ouachita Baptist recruit Aspen Thornton scored 13 of her game-high 18 points in the first half, leading Lake Hamilton past the Lady Trojans, 49-34.

“Hot Springs had a good game plan,” said Condley. “They put pressure on the ball, and did a good job of keeping us from getting our outside shots. I haven’t seen film, but I don’t think we hit many perimeter shots.

“We’ve got to work on being a little stronger around the basket. We’ve been working on that in practice. A couple of times we made good, strong moves. Then on other occasions we were weak around the basket.”

Lady Wolves
Lake Hamilton senior Aspen Thornton (12) loses control of the ball and herself Friday night against Hot Springs.

Lady Wolves sink five 3-pointers

The Wolves did sink five 3-pointers, two by Thornton. Her effort helped Lake Hamilton build a 33-22 lead at halftime.

It got ugly in the third quarter with more turnovers than points. Hot Springs outscored the Trojans 6-2 during the first seven minutes to cut its deficit to seven. Hayleigh Wyrick and Taylor Humphreys scored the final four points of the quarter to rebuild the Trojans’ lead to 11.

Thornton was held scoreless in the third quarter, but added five points in the final eight minutes to help Lake Hamilton pull away.

Lady Wolves

Reed, Hicks lead Lady Trojans

Hot Spring’s 1-2 punch of Jaylia Reed and Jurnee Hicks kept the Trojans in contention until the final minutes. Reed poured in 13 of her 15 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers. Hicks finished with 11 points.

“We did a lot better tonight of defending Lake Hamilton,” said the Trojans’ Smith. “I was proud of the girls, and the way we responded after some adversity on Tuesday. We kept the game manageable. If we take care of business in the first round of our district tournament, we’ll get to go to state.”

The 5A South coaches agreed this week to have a tournament beginning Feb. 23. The regular season champion will host the eighth-place team. with second playing seventh, etc. The four first round winners will advance to the 5A state tournament the following week at Lake Hamilton’s Wolf Den.