Pictured is Kaylee Ward
After being off of the hardwoods for two weeks, it was finally time for the Mansfield Jr Lady Tigers to dust off their basketball uniforms and suit up again. What better way to kick things back off than with a matchup against conference foes, the Lavaca Lady Golden Arrows. Being out of their groove after all the time off and still without captain Alyson Edwards, the Jr Lady Tigers didn’t pull their usual blowout win against Lavaca but they did win nonetheless 37-26.
It was evident right off the bat that Mansfield wasn’t their normal selves as their decision making wasn’t on par in the first quarter. There’s no trouble like foul trouble and the Lady Tigers dove into the shallow foul pool quickly. By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Tigers had two starters already on the sidelines due to fouls but still held a 17-6 lead on Lavaca. Although they were in a rough spot and not playing to their own self-imposed standards, there was a brief second of excitement that erupted at the one minute mark at the end of the first quarter. Coach Joshua Bryan called a time out and the entire Mansfield bench cleared with yelling and jumping around. No, they hadn’t won the game, not yet anyhow. The celebration was in regards to 7th Grader Kaylee Ward breaking the Mansfield Lady Tiger Jr season blocked shot record.
During the 1992-1993 basketball season, Anna Biazo set the school record of 38 blocked shots in a season. Kaylee currently sits with 45. “I just want to thank my teammates for hyping me up before and after the game. It really meant a lot. I couldn’t have achieved this without them! They are what makes playing this sport worth it. My next goal is to try and score more than 10 points every game,” expressed Kaylee excitedly.
The celebration was well earned but short-lived as Mansfield had to get back to work in a game that was back and forth. Lavaca found a way to create chaos defensively sending the teams into halftime with a narrow score of 24-17 Mansfield. A little bit of stiffness and rust is expected with an extended period of time away from the game, but the Lady Tigers refused to just lay down to Lavaca. With the fouls stacking up high, Mansfield dug deeper into their bench’s talent. Thankfully, the Lady Tigers talent pool is much deeper than the shallow foul pool they were swimming in as multiple players not only stepped up but stepped up BIG time giving the Lady Tigers a 37-26 victory and a season sweep of the Lavaca Lady Golden Arrows.
Harlie Fuller led the Jr Lady Tigers with 13 points by using her smooth criminal moves that even Michael Jackson would be proud of. Giving the Flash a run for his money was Kynslee Ward who scored 11 lightning-fast points. Sister, Kaylee Ward, delivered 7 points while also earning the title of Rebound Queen with 14. Up and coming baller, Ambria Whittaker, isn’t afraid to get into the court action and get the job done netting her 4 points. And Kaylie Lowery who garnered 2 points is a silent storm that starts off calm and collected but at the word go can turn into an F5 tornado completely destroying the hardwood.
With their second win over Lavaca this season, the Lady Tigers improve to a 9-1 overall record and a 4-0 conference record. Now that Mansfield has had a game to work the kinks out, expect them to be back to their normal selves roaring over opponents as they blaze through the rest of their season. Next on the chopping block will be the Lady Rebels of JC Westside. The two programs will face off for the first time this season on Friday, January 29 when the Lady Tigers travel to JC Westside.