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— A big second quarter from Gravette allowed the Lady Lions to pull away from the Decatur Bulldogs 60-44 in a senior girls game Monday at the Benton County Invitational at Panther Arena.

The Lady Lions outscored the Lady Bulldogs 20-7 in the period and took a 33-13 lead at halftime. Gravette led by as many as 25 points in the second half.

A hot second-half shooting performance from Decatur’s Kimmy Nelson allowed the Lady Bulldogs to escape the running clock mercy rule.

Gravette seniors Julia Himsl and Morgan Bayley and junior Shelby Newell combined for 48 of the team’s points.

A putback by Newell off a missed Bayley 3-pointer in the third quarter gave Gravette a 40-15 lead.

That’s when Nelson started to heat up for Decatur. She closed out the quarter with eight points and scored 12 in the fourth quarter, including two 3-pointers.

“I thought we played pretty good defense for the most part,” said first-year Gravette coach Duane Thomas. “We controlled it but we kind of got in foul trouble. When they happened, we just relaxed and (Decatur) can shoot a little bit. They can knock a few down from way out there. We’ve just got to do a better job of that down the stretch.”

Decatur knocked down eight 3-pointers on the game.

Nelson finished with a game-high 22 points, 20 of which came in the second half. She hit three threepointers.

“I don’t know what to say about what got her going,” Decatur coach Donnie Smith said. “She hit a couple and then she got warm.

She just kept going.”

Tiffany Wright had 11points, including three treys.

Himsl finished with 21 points while Bayley added 16. Newell chipped in 12 for the Lady Lions, who advanced in the winner’s bracket to play host and top-seed Siloam Springs on Thursday.

Decatur played Pea Ridge Saturday in the consolation finals.

Pioneers 74, Bulldogs 41

Gentry pulled in front of Decatur 29-6 and coasted to an easy win against the Bulldogs in the senior high boys bracket of the Benton County Invitational.

Aaron Dalla Rosa led the Pioneers (6-0) with 20 points. Gentry played No. 2 seed Siloam Springs in the semifinals on Thursday.

Hunter Beal led Decatur with 21 points.

Sports, Pages 7 on 12/09/2009

Print Headline: Gravette outscores Decatur girls

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