Lady Tigers get back on track with comeback win
Recovering from a third quarter stumble, the Lady Tigers rallied to overcome Texas Christan Academy 54-46 Tuesday night at Tiger Gymnasium.
Rockdale improved to 8- 3 on the season and have been rewarded for its dynamic start by being ranked No. 22 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll.
The eight wins also equals last year’s victory total in the Lady Tigers’ best start since 1998.
Tuesday evening, Rockdale trailed early but pulled even by the end of the third quarter with an eight-point run on two jumpers from Velma Mitchell, a putback from Taylor Pickett and a pair of free throws by Victoria Drake tied the game 35-35 with one period to play.
Mitchell provided six straight points and post Shelby Evans four during the streak as TCA went almost five minutes without scoring.
After Evans last bucket at 3:20, the Lady Tigers suffered through a dry spell of their own and as TCA reeled off eight straight points—all on free throws—the Lady Tigers were clinging to a 47-46 lead.
Mitchell converted a threepoint play and Jill Young tossed in a couple of baskets to spark a seven-point spurt to close out the game. 54-46.
Mitchell finished with a season high 26 points, while the freshman also ripped down nine rebounds and picked of f six steals.
Rockdale had beaten TCA in the season opener 55-32.
Lady Tiger Classic
The Lady Tigers got off to a strong start in the first round of the Lady Tiger Classic, taking out Taylor 58-18, but then dropped two straight to eventual champion Snook 42-30, and then to Robinson 48-30.
“After the losses, I had time to reflect. The scores in both losses could have been closer and in being closer, given us a chance to win,” said Rockdale Coach Liz Galloway-McQuitter. “However, I saw improvement. The first quarter in both losses proved disastrous for us. I was very proud of how the girls battled back. We could have folded.
Against Taylor, Mitchell went off for 24 points as Rockdale shot 55 percent from the field and limited the Ducks to under four points in three of the four quarters.
Mitchell, an all-tournament selection, also turned in three rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
While they lit up Taylor, the Lady Tigers f lame went out against Snook, missing 24- of- 33 shots (27 percent) from the field.
Rockdale surrendered 16 unanswered points in the first quarter and trailed 16-2 after one and 22-9 at intermission.
Mitchell found herself in foul trouble in the first half with three personals and that put a crimp in the Lady Tigers’ scoring.
Mitchell still led the Lady Tigers in scoring w ith seven points, while Evans and Henderson matched her total.
Rockdale got off to another slow start in the loss to Robinson, trailing 23-14 at halftime and 35-22 after three periods.
Mitchell led the Lady Tigers with 11 points and four rebounds.
“In each game, we won two of the three quarters after falling down in the first. We had scoring opportunities, but did not connect and got us off to a bad start. My words to the team are “ you still have an opportunity for a special season. You still have games you can win.
“ This is a learning situation where we faced teams that will be as good as teams in district. I think we grew, and that is what you want from any game, win or lose. The main thing I think we learned is that we have to get more focused and tougher. We have to trust our systems and each other.
“ I am still very excited about this group. The good thing about this time of year is that we don’t have time to wallow in the losses.... there is another game coming up that you have to focus on.”