Hope ninth grade girls basketball team returned to the hardwood on last Thursday night for their season-opening battle falling short to Arkadelphia Freshman Lady Badgers 32-17 to tipped off the 2017-18 junior high season at Jones Field House Gymnasium.

Hope ninth grade girls basketball team returned to the hardwood on last Thursday night for their season-opening battle falling short to Arkadelphia Freshman Lady Badgers 32-17 to tipped off the 2017-18 junior high season at Jones Field House Gymnasium.

Hope had a slow start in opening quarter play with Arkadelphia taking a 8-1 advantage to end first period play. In the second, Hope provided a better scoring period but got outscored by the Lady Badgers 12-7. At halftime, Hope trailed visiting Arkadelphia 20-8.

In the second half, a more defensive stance was displayed by both opponents but Arkadelphia held the advantage outscored Hope 8-3 in the third quarter. The Lady Badgers took a 28-11 lead over Hope to end third quarter action going into the final period of the game.

In the fourth quarter, Hope maintained an productive defensive period to allow Arkadelphia four points scored with Hope posting six points on the scoreboard, but the Lady Badgers prevailed for the 15 point road victory.

For the game, Hope's Mariuna McClenton led scoring with seven points, Anntaevia Briggs and Na'Kerra Magee each had three points, Emily Miller and Ashanti Phillips each contributed two points apiece.

For Arkadelphia, Whitaker led all scorers with nine points.

This Thursday night, Hope ninth grade girls travel on the road to take on Texarkana for junior high girls action beginning at 5 p.m., with seventh grade play, followed by eighth grade girls then ninth grade for the nightcap.