Hope ninth grade girls basketball team returned home with momentum over the weekend after finishing the regular season schedule victorious on the road against Hot Springs 27-26 heading into the 5A South Jr. High District Tournament hosted at Jones Field House Gymnasium on this past Saturday Feb. 11.

Hope ninth grade girls basketball team returned home with momentum over the weekend after finishing the regular season schedule victorious on the road against Hot Springs 27-26 heading into the 5A South Jr. High District Tournament hosted at Jones Field House Gymnasium on this past Saturday Feb. 11.

Hope opened district tournament play with a dominant victory hosting Magnolia 48-19 led by another outstanding scoring day from Lanay Wheaton dropping a big 23 points and swishing a trifecta from behind the arc. Wheaton also led scoring for Hope in their victory at Hot Springs with 12 points to split their season series meeting against the Jr. Lady Trojans on last Thursday Feb. 9.

Hope's impressive first round win over Magnolia advances them to tonight's semifinal round against top-seed Lakeside which tips off at 6 p.m.

In district tournament first round action, Hope had to battle hard with Magnolia in opening round play. Hope win the scoring battle but led Magnolia 8-6 going into the second period. Hope turned it up with major scoring contributions from Ra'Nayzia Miller, Sarah Willis and Wheaton with Mariuna McClenton swishing a 3-pointer from downtown to give the hometown team a 25-11 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Hope increased their lead to 44-15 going into the final period of the game. In the fourth, Hope and Magnolia both scored four points apiece with the hometown team marching onto a 29 point win.

For the game, Miller posted in double-figures with 14 points, Willis added seven points and McClenton finished with four points and one trifecta.

The win improves Hope's ninth grade overall record at 12-6.