Lady Tigers grab second spot in own tournament

Mitchell returns to save the day in Tuesday’s win


Sophomore guard Velma Mitchell returned to action at the Lady Tigers’ Classic and led Rockdale to the championship game. 
Reporter/Clliff Dungan Sophomore guard Velma Mitchell returned to action at the Lady Tigers’ Classic and led Rockdale to the championship game. Reporter/Clliff Dungan The Rockdale Lady Tigers’ loss in the championship game of the lady Tiger Classic was tempered by the return of sophomore guard Velma Mitchell.

The Lady Tigers fell to Robinson 67-29 in the finale after defeating Thrall 27-15 and Austin Lanier 52-10.

With a 45-41 victory over Academy Tuesday night, the Lady Tigers improved to 4-5 on the young season.

Mitchell, who missed the first five games of the season, recovering from foot surgery, made her debut in the Lady Tigers’ first round victory over Lanier (0-8).

The 5-foot-7 Mitchell responded with a team-high 12 points, including a pair of threes while also picking off five steals.

Shelby Evans chipped in 12 points while collecting five rebounds and five blocks as Rockdale led 28-4 at halftime.

Against Thrall, the Lady Tigers put up just 31 shots, making 10 in the low scoring affair in which Thrall scored six points in the second half.

All three of Mitchell’s field goals were of the three-point variety to lead Rockdale with nine points.

Evans had just five points, but supplied six blocks and four rebounds.

In the finale, Robinson jumped out early and never let up in taking the championship.

The Lady Rockets led 29-15 at intermission and then boosted their advantage to 52-17 as the Lady Tigers managed just one basket in the third quarter.

Ikera Green led Rockdale with seven points, including a pair of two treys.

Mitchell did not play in the finale.

“We did not want to push it with her,” said Rockdale Coach Liz Galloway-McQuitter. “She played those games because the pace was slower. I would never put her health at risk for a game. She was given clearance to ease back in and that is just what we did.

“When we get everyone healthy, and gain some experience, I think this team will gel. They showed moments of what it could be like.”

Mitchell, along with teammates Shelby Evans and Visha Henderson, was named to the all-tournament team.

Tuesday

Mitchell definitely came to the rescue Tuesday night, rallying the Lady Tigers to a 46-41 victory over Academy.

Mitchell, who did not enter the contest until there was 3:18 left in the third quarter with Rockdale trailing 29-24, almost immediately pushed the Lady Tigers back into the lead with a pair of three-point bombs.

Mitchell continued the gunnery in the final period with another pair from the right side followed by two free throws and Rockdale led 42-35.

In about 10 minutes of play, Mitchell finished with 14 points.

“We definitely needed her to win tonight,” McQuitter said.

Evans a lso worked inside for 14 points and logges seven reboundds and seven blocks.

Kelbi Sprinkles poured in 27 points for Academy (17 in the first half), mostly on layups on fast breaks.


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