The Mansfield Lady Tigers have finally found their feet. After a questionable start to the season, the Lady Tigers have found a way to ascend their game to the next level. To continue their next level run, the Lady Tigers had to go through a Future Schol team who embarrassed them by 11 points earlier on in the season on Mansfields home court. Mansfield chose to take that 11 point loss and flip it on the Rockets on Friday, January 21st as they defeated Future School by 13 in a 53-40 win.
The Lady Tigers started off the game grounded by the Rockets in every area of the game. The most notable area was in the defensive rebounding game as Future School was able to get their own rebounds and put them back up for points on multiple occasions giving them an early lead. Down early, Mansfield ran into foul issues which set them even further back. Fortunately for the Lady Tigers, it didn’t take long for Future Schools Rocket fuel to run out. Alyson Edwards was first to put the Lady Tigers on the board with a powerful layup and it was game on from there. Sadie Roberts was able to find an open three-point shot and drained it putting the Rockets on notice. The quick points run by Mansfield forced the Rockets to get touchy and fouls on their side ensued. Kynslee Ward and Natalie Allison capitalized by dropping 3 points in free throws but the Lady Tigers still couldn’t obtain a lead as the first quarter ended with the Rockets ahead 13-8.
Future Schools break was over after the first quarter as the Lady Tigers rallied, fixing their early mistakes and almost cursing the Rockets with mistakes of their own. The Rockets fouled Seven Sanderson on the first play allowing Sanderson to sink one of her two shots at the line. With Sanderson and Skylynn Harris on the court, the Future School couldn’t fly high enough to get over the Lady Tiger giants as both players racked up a plethora of blocks on the Rockets throughout the second quarter. Then a strange force hit the court as Sanderson began receiving fouls for, well, being tall. To prevent Sanderson from fouling out, Coach Bowman subbed in Natalie Allison who quickly put up back-to-back layups for the Lady Tigers. With the half closing, Allison then dropped a 3 point shot from outer space tieing the game at 18-18 as the teams went into the half.
If there was a quarter the Lady Tigers could claim as their own in the past few games, it would be the third quarter, and boy did they own the third against Future School. Skylynn Harris was fouled early giving the Lady Tigers an “and one” and the lead for the first time in the game. Seven Sanderson and Alyson Edwards returned to the game to put a couple of powerful putbacks up for points extending the Lady Tigers lead on the Rockets. It was at that point Sadie Roberts stole the Future Schools Rocket Ship and took off. Roberts sank three 3 points shots, got a steal with a following layup, and knocked down two free throws to rack up an amazing 16 points in the third quarter. The Lady Tigers offense wasn’t the only thing on fire as their defensive play held the Future School in the past by allowing the Rockets to get just 7 points in the quarter. The 18 point tie at halftime was demolished as the Lady Tigers closed out the third quarter with a 40-25 score.
With Mansfield rolling over the Rockets going into the fourth quarter, it was time for some offensive and defensive balance. Natalie Allison kicked things off offensively with a pair of short shots followed by Alyson Edwards and Sadie Roberts getting a bucket each. Raine Hecox and Brooklyn Adams cranked up some defensive pressure with Adams ripping the ball away from Rocket players while Hecox went nose to nose with them forcing the Rockets to pass poorly. The game was already out of hand for the Rockets but they didn’t quit as they began to foul to stop the clock. They may have stopped the clock as planned, but they wound up fouling the wrong person….Kynslee Ward. Being the perfect tactician of the court that she is, Ward slammed the door shut on Future School by sinking her free throws as the Lady Tigers went on to win with a 53-40 final.
The Lady Tigers second-half run on the season has broken them even with a 14-7 overall record. Mansfield is also now towards the top of their conference with a 5-2 conference record. The Lady Tigers two losses in conference were to Acorn and Future School of whom the Lady Tigers have enacted powerful revenge on in their rematches. Needless to say, the Lady Tigers road to redemption has turned into a one-way interstate of victories. Mansfield aims to keep their foot on the gas pedal as they head to Lavaca on Tuesday, January 25th to face the Lady Golden Arrows in conference play.