Lady Tigers still hanging around the playoff party
Fighting for their playoff lives and a chance to reverse the program’s field, the Rockdale Lady Tigers took a huge step towards those goals Tuesday night by outlasting LaGrange 40-35 at Tiger Gymnasium.
Standing at 16-12 overall and more importantly 3- 5 in District 23-3A and with just two games remaining, the Lady Tigers will have to win out against the leagues top two teams—at No. 14 Giddings (29-5, 8-0) Friday and hosting Navasota (26-6, 7-1) Tuesday in the regular season finale.
Rockdale trails Smithville by one game for the third playoff spot.
“The main thing, we hung on to win,” said Rockdale Coach Liz Galloway-McQuitter. “We have been f lat all week. I was concerned. We’re going to have to be a whole lot better to bounce back against Giddings.”
The first time these two teams played, the Lady Leps (13-10, 1- 7) tripped up Rockdale 55-43 so the Lady Tigers were out to make amends–and survive.
Despite missing 11 shots, Velma Mitchell poured in 18 points to lead Rockdale. The freshman guard also gathered up seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Senior guard Hallie Garlick led LaGrange with 20 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter when the Lady Leps mounted a comeback.
Rockdale could not take advantage of LaGrange’s sloppy play (six turnovers) in the first quarter, missing nine shots and settling for a 9-9 tie.
The Lady Leps turned the ball over eight more times in the second quarter (20 on the night) and went without a field goal in the final 6 minutes, 46 seconds that allowed Rockdale to snap a 19-15 lead at intermission.
On the strength of Mitchell’s two long three-pointers and Victoria Drake’s basket and free throws, the Lady Tigers began to create some distance and led 29-23 after three.
A steal and basket from Drake and a jumper from the left side by Mitchell at the start of the final period provided the Lady Tigers with their first double-digit lead 33-23.
Mitchell’s sank two free throws with 42 seconds remaining and seemingly put the game out of reach 38-30, but Garlick—who accounted for 10 of LaGrange’s 12 points in the quarter—rained in a trey from the eright side and then converted a layup to erase the lead, 38-35 with 15 seconds left.
Fouled as the Tigers were trying to run the clock out, Visha Henderson sank two free throws—her only points of the evening— with 13 seconds showing to make the final 40-35.
Having bested Smithville at home, the Lady TIgers could not pull off the feat on the road, falling 52-42.
Drake had another strong showing with 16 points (eightfor 11), almost 10 points above her average.
Mitchell followed with 11 points and six boards.
Leading 34- 29 after three, Smithville (10-19, 4-3) pulled away in the final period, outscoring Rockdale 18-13.
Tuesday’s results: Rockdale 40, LaGrange 35; Giddings 65, Smithville 32;
Friday’s results: Smithville 52, Rockdale 42; Giddings 66, Caldwell 35; LADY TIGER SEASON STATS