|Bi-district gets away from C-P girls in fourth|
|Tyler Clifton | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Feb. 20, 2004 -- COOPER -- Monday night's Class 2A bi-district playoff game between Como-Pickton and Leonard was living proof that a team must play a full four quarters if it wants to survive in the postseason.
The Lady Eagles outplayed LHS the first three periods but couldn't buy a basket in the final seven minutes, and the Tigerettes took advantage on their way to a 71-51 victory.
Amanda Meares had a game-high 18 points and 13 rebounds, Macy Boggs had 17 points and Holly Henderson added 14 for LHS (27-4), who outscored Como-Pickton 26-4 in the fourth quarter.
"We turned the ball over three straight times in the fourth quarter, and they took advantage of it," CPHS head coach Michael Jones said. "That was the difference in the game.
"I think the girls felt a sense of urgency once we got down and had some poor shot selection at times. Their heart was in the right place, as they were trying to make something happen."
Christy Hunt scored 17 points, Charlot Harper had 13 points and nine rebounds while Kelli Harmon added 12 points and 12 boards for the Lady Eagles (16-13), who held a two-point lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Harper's jumper to start the quarter increased the lead to four, but Henderson's third 3-pointer of the night gave the Tigerettes a 50-49 lead and opened the floodgates.
Meares had eight fourth-quarter points to go along with three rebounds, all on the offensive end. Courtney Williams got in on the action, and her putback with 58 seconds left in the game capped a 23-0 run. Harper's jumper ended a 7:08 scoring drought, but it was too late.
"We weren't getting rebounds, and our shots weren't falling late," Harper said. "You can't win that way, and what's so hard for me is that I couldn't hit any shots. I was ice cold.
"I don't know how many times we had our hands on a rebound, but they would end up with it. We couldn't have played much better than we did the first three quarters, but it got away from us."
LHS outrebounded the Lady Eagles 50-27, including 27-14 on the offensive boards, while Meares, Summer Norman and Boggs ate up CPHS on the glass. The Tigerettes made 11-of-14 free throws down the stretch and finished 20-of-26 (77 percent) on the night. The Lady Eagles attempted only 13 free throws, making six (46 percent).
Both teams shot 36 percent from the floor, but the difference was the Tigerettes domination on the boards and at the free throw line.
The game started off a bit slow, as both teams went their first three possessions without scoring. It wouldn't last long, as Hunt and Henderson exchanged 3-pointers, and Nicole Dulude scored twice inside. Hunt scored 11 of her points in the quarter, including three 3-pointers for a 20-12 lead. The Lady Eagles forced six turnovers, as Elizabeth Melton had four steals. CPHS finished with 16 turnovers to Leonard's 15.
Boggs took over in the second quarter with 13 of her 17 points on three 3-pointers, but Harmon answered the call for the Lady Eagles inside and scored four buckets of her own, including one with 10 seconds left in the half to send the teams into intermission tied 34-34.
Hunt and Harmon continued their strong performances by scoring off Harper assists, but they weren't finished, as Hunt banked in a three and Harmon added a jumper for a 46-42 advantage with less than two minutes left in the quarter. Williams answered with her lone three of the night, and the Tigerettes entered the fourth quarter down 47-45.
"We were really pumped up for this game and did so good the first three quarters," Hunt said. "It was a heartbreaking loss, but we didn't do a good enough job of rebounding and blocking out late in the game."
There might has well have been a lid on the basket, as the Lady Eagles shot 2-of-12 (17 percent) in the fourth quarter. Brittany Wright, who entered the game averaging 10.5 points, got seven rebounds but was held to four points. Harper had trouble finding her shot from beyond the arc, finishing 0-for-7 from three-point range.