Lady Tigers jump out 3-0 for best start in a decade
Jumping out to a 3- 0 start for the first time since 1998, the Rockdale Lady Tigers ran away from rival Taylor 48-26 in their home opener Tuesday night at Tiger Gym.
It’s the best start by a Rockdale team since Janet Havelka’s 16th ranked 1998- 99 squad opened the season 5- 0 on its way to a district title.
Lady Tiger coach Liz McQuitter expected big things from Velma Mitchell and so far, the freshman hasn’t disappointed.
The ever-ready frosh poured in 23 points Tuesday night, scoring from all over the court on 10-for- 25 shooting.
The 5-foot-7 Mitchell also collected six rebounds and five steals as the Lady Tigers harassed the Lady Ducks into 30 turnovers.
Trailing 4- 0 at the outset, Rockdale reeled off 11 straight points to grab the lead for good in the first quarter.
Mitchell nailed the Lady Tigers’ only three of the evening and took a great feed from Visha Henderson inside surrounding Shelby Evans’ put back to close out the quarter.
Rockdale prevented Taylor from scoring in the final 5 minutes, 25 seconds of the quarter.
While the Lady Ducks pulled to within 11-8, Mitchell worked for five straight points, including two baskets from close in, to give the Lady Tigers some more breathing room and snuff out Taylor’s last serious threat.
Leading 23-11 at intermission, the Lady Tigers continued to pour on the pressure, outscoring Taylor 25-15 in the final two quarters to construct a 20-point bulge.
Mitchell surged for 12 of her game-high 23 in the second half, including seven in the third quarter.
In that pivotal third quarter, Rockdale peeled off eight straight points at the start of the period for a 31-13 advantage on Victoria Drake’s put back with 2:59 left.
The Lady Tigers bookended their effort with strong first and fourth quarters to walk away with a 53-46 road victory over Rogers Friday.
Rockdale jumped out to a 21-13 lead in the first stanza, but Rogers closed in 31-30 at intermission.
Heading into the final period knotted at 38-all, the Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Eagles 15-8 to secure the win.
Evans pumped in 15 points to lead the way, while also swatting away six shots and snaring five rebounds.
Mitchell chipped in 14 points and picked off five steals while passing off for four assists.
Young ripped down 13 boards along with eight points.
The Lady Tigers won despite converting just 12- of- 34 free throws and turning the ball over 41 times.