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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sr Lady Tigers Walk The Swords Edge Against Dragons


Pictured is Chloe Creekmore

It’s hard enough to beat a solid team to start with. If you do succeed though, facing them a second-time lines up multiple challenges. Your opponent now knows your players, tendencies, key players to stop, and they have plenty of time to change their game plan. The only thing that could make it harder is if your opponent has home-court advantage in game two. That’s exactly what the Mansfield Sr Lady Tigers faced as they took on the Lady Dragons of Mountainburg on Friday, February 5.

Mansfield had to fend off a late-game comeback by the Lady Dragons in their first meeting at Mansfield earlier in the season but still came out with a narrow win. The pressure was all on Mansfield as they remembered that game along with knowing that a victory would solidify the Lady Tigers the #2 seed for the District Tournament and a guaranteed spot in Regionals. Tiger fans sucked up all of the oxygen in the gym at the tip-off of the game as the battle ensued. The Lady Dragons set the nets ablaze with perfect 3 point shots. Mansfield came back with board bashing layups and chip shots. At the end of the first quarter, the Lady Tigers kept their claws on a 16-12 lead.

Danielle Lillie

Mansfield was able to pull ahead a little more in the second quarter. With fast break scores and aggressive rebounding, the Lady Tigers were able to get the Lady Dragons to start tripping on their own tails. By doing so, Mountainburg got into foul trouble putting the Lady Tigers at the free-throw line to extend their lead to a 33-21 halftime score. As both teams headed to their locker rooms, one thing was evident. This game was going to have one heck of a second half.

The Lady Tigers continued to surge in the 3rd quarter building up a 37-29 gap on the scoreboard. Then deja vu began to kick in for the Lady Tigers. Just like in their first meeting, Mountainburg began to get red hot on the court. That’s when Tiger fans began to take their aspirin and break out the AEDs. With 2:46 in the 4th quarter, the game was tied at 41-41. At 1:56 it was 43-43 and then 46-46 with 1:09 left on the clock. Hearts were racing out of control on both sides of the gym. The Lady Tigers scored with 22.8 seconds left in the game to pull ahead by two points forcing Mountainburg to foul to stop the clock.

Makayla Strutton

Months of practicing their shooting was about to pay off for Mansfield as they went to the free-throw line. By hitting 5 final free throws, Mansfield was able to finally breathe a sigh of relief closing the game out with a 51-46 final score. Chloe Creekmore played one of her best games leading the Lady Tigers with a double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds. Makayla Strutton and Danielle Lillie followed with 14 and 13 points respectively. And tied with 4 points each were Natalie Allison and Seven Sanderson.

The battle-weary Lady Tigers have officially cashed in the check that they earned this season. The victory puts Mansfield at an amazing 17-4 overall record on the season and places them not only as the #2 seed in the District Tournament with a 10-1 conference record but also puts them in a guaranteed spot in the Regional Tournament. With all of the prestige and honors of their success, the Lady Tigers still have one more game before closing the book on their conference schedule. Mansfield will travel to Johnson County Westside on February 9 to attempt to finish their regular season with a BANG!

Brooke Wright
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