Hope ninth grade girls basketball team returned back to junior high hoops action with a hard fought battle Thursday night hosting a good De Queen Jr. Lady Leopards squad at Jones Field House Gymnasium.

Hope ninth grade girls basketball team returned back to junior high hoops action with a hard fought battle Thursday night hosting a good De Queen Jr. Lady Leopards squad at Jones Field House Gymnasium.

Hope stayed close early in first quarter action with a 9-5 deficit at the conclusion of the opening period, but De Queen found their spark in the second, third and fourth quarters to defeat the hometown team 45-14. Hope jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead with baskets from Ra'Nayzia Miller and Lanay Wheaton, but De Queen went on a scoring run down to the 1:28 mark to lead Hope 9-4 in the first quarter.

De Queen dropped 12 points in the second quarter to hold Hope to five points scored. At halftime, Hope trailed the Jr. Lady Leopards 21-10.

In the second half, De Queen's lead grew larger scoring 18 points in the third quarter, then adding six points in the fourth. Hope was held to four points scored the entire second half.

For the game, Wheaton lead scoring with eight points, Miller and Ashanti Phillips both added two points apiece, Mariuna McClenton and Sarah Willis both contributed one point apiece from the charity stripe.

Today, Hope ninth grade girls basketball team was schedule to travel to De Queen for the annual Winter Invitational Jr. High tournament. Due to inclement weather conditions on Friday, today's tournament games have been cancelled. Hope ninth grade girls was schedule to take on Arkansas High-Texarkana at 1 p.m. in tournament play at De Queen's High School Gymnasium-Coliseum in the upper division level. The De Queen winter invitational is scheduled Jan. 7-14.

On this following Monday Jan. 9, Hope ninth grade girls will travel to Camden for junior high hoops with the eighth grade girls and ninth grade boys teams for road competition tipping off at 5 p.m.