By Mark Lane (@therealmarklane)
TEXARKANA — The Arkansas High Ladybacks’ only senior, guard India Young, went out on Senior Night at Razorback Gymnasium giving every ounce of effort for the team in their 64-37 loss to the Hot Springs Lady Trojans Friday night.
“On defense, she was the only one hustling at one point,” said girls varsity head coach Venture Watson. “And because she was the only one hustling and got three fouls — I wouldn’t say that was a negative. You could see she was the only one hustling.”
Young’s aggressive defensive play got her into foul trouble as she finished the game with four personal fouls, and Coach Watson pointed it out to the rest of the team.
“I got on to the girls about that,” said Watson. “I said, ‘It’s Senior Night. She has to sit down because you’re not hustling.’ I’m proud of her. She’s such a good kid.”
The senior played her last game at Razorback Gymnasium scoring nine points, including 9-11 from the free throw line, and grabbing a rebound. Coach Watson says Young was nervous at the beginning of the game.
Said Watson: “I had to sit her out early starting Senior Night because their emotions are so high. You think that there’s always two things that are going to happen. They’re either going to be super nervous and play bad, or they’re going to be super excited and play good.”
Young recovered and played a decent game.
“She started off playing well, but emotionally she wasn’t making the plays that I needed her to make. So, I let her regroup and put her back in.”
The core of the Ladybacks is young, and one of the players Watson has to build with going forward is sophomore forward Cedriana Daniels, who pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
“She’s getting used to playing post position,” said Watson. “She went from freshman to pretty much varsity in one year. And Ced is one of the ones that we tell her, ‘Go in there and don’t let anybody take the ball away from you.'”
Daniels has taken the coaching to heart as she ripped away a rebound from the Lady Trojans in the third quarter. The sophomore was one point away from having a double-double.
“I’m very proud of her, and she’s going to be a beast,” Watson said. “And I’m looking forward to when she is a senior. I wonder what she’s going to be like then. She still has two more years.”
The Ladybacks may have the future, but the Lady Trojans had the present as they established a 27-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. Lady Trojans junior guard Ariana Guinn finished with 15 points while senior center Keke Hunter finished with 14 points.
Hot Springs improves to 19-6 on the season and 12-2 in the conference while Arkansas High falls to 7-20 and 3-12 in the conference.