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story.lead_photo.caption MIKE ECKELS NWA NEWSPAPERS Farmington junior Joelle Tidwell gets a hand on the ball as Gravette's Gabbi Scott (left) attempts a shot during the third quarter of a 4A-1 Conference basketball contest Dec. 21 at the competition gym in Gravette. Tidwell's block while furiously chasing the ball robbed Gravette of a fast-break opportunity as the Lady Cardinals emerged victorious 62-40.

GRAVETTE -- The competition gym was packed Dec. 21 as fans from Gravette and Farmington filled the bleachers to cheer on the hosting Lady Lions and the Lady Cardinals.

But Lady Lions fans faced disappointment as the Farmington Lady Cardinals (10-1, 3-0) overwhelmingly defeated Gravette (6-5, 1-2) by 22 points. The Lady Cardinals dominated the second half and rolled to a big 62-40 win in 4A-1 Conference girls basketball action.

The game was tight early. Farmington's Madsyn Pense made the first of four 3-pointers to break an 8-8 tie and a blocked shot by Audrey Culpepper helped the Lady Cardinals maintain a 15-13 lead at the end of the first period.

Sophomore Tori Kersey took a rebound coast-to-coast for a score to begin the scoring for Farmington in the second quarter. Farmington converted transition opportunities. Makenna Vanzant rebounded, pushed the ball and passed to Pense, who went in for a layup. Next Pense took her turn making a steal and bringing the ball upcourt setting up Joelle Tidwell to finish the break. With 2:40 left in the half Tidwell handled the ball on the run and found Trinity Johnson for a 3-ball on the right wing giving Farmington an eight point advantage.

Gravette cut its deficit to 28-23 at the half.

Farmington was more aggressive in the second half, holding the Lady Lions to 17 points throughout the third and fourth quarters while expanding its lead to 22 by the end of the contest.

Pense stroked a pair of treys in the first 1:12 of the third quarter. Trinity Johnson added another 3-pointer and Pense spotted up in the left corner where Trinity Johnson delivered the ball to her for one more trifecta as Farmington opened up a 49-31 lead. Gravette again cut into the lead over the last 1:31 of the third but trailed 51-35 going into the fourth.

The Lady Lions missed an opportunity to get even closer but were robbed of a fast-break layup when Tidwell blocked a shot out-of-bounds while furiously chasing the ball. Gravette couldn't make up the differential down the stretch and the Lady Cardinals defeated the Lady Lions, 62-40, ending the first half of their season with a conference victory.

Tori Kersey scored 18 points to lead Farmington. Alexis Roach scored 15 and Madisyn Pense 14.

Shylee Morrison and Abigail Beranek led the Lady Lions scoring drive with 12 points each, followed by Jessica Bookout with eight, Gabbi Scott with five and Brook Deihl with three.

FARMINGTON 62, GRAVETTE 40

Farmington^15^13^23^11^--^62

Gravette^13^10^12^5^--^40

Farmington (10-1, 3-0): Tori Kersey 18, Alexis Roach 15, Madisyn Pense 14, Makenna Vanzant 6, Trinity Johnson 6.

Gravette (6-5, 1-2): Shylee Morrison 12, Abigail Beranek 12, Jessica Bookout 8, Gabbi Scott 5, Brook Deihl 3.

3-point Goals -- Farmington -- (Pense 4, Johnson 2, Roach).

Rebounds -- Gravette 28, Farmington 32 (Vanzant 7). Assists -- Gravette 9, Farmington 14. Steals -- Gravette 7, Farmington 10 (Pense 4, Vanzant 4). Blocks -- Gravette 2, Farmington 2 (Tidwell, Culpepper).

Sports on 01/09/2019

Print Headline: Lady Cardinals Perform Before Packed House

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