Lady Tigers dump Ducks to capture league opener

Navasota comeback catches Rockdale Tuesday

Rockdale’s Samantha Muston corrals one of her gamehigh 12 rebounds in the Lady Tigers’ important win over Taylor. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Rockdale’s Samantha Muston corrals one of her gamehigh 12 rebounds in the Lady Tigers’ important win over Taylor. Reporter/Bill Martin The Rockdale Lady Tigers are coming off their first playoff appearance since 2005 and all early indications are that they would like to return.

In a sloppy affair from both squads coming off the Christmas holidays, the Lady Tigers opened their District 18-3A slate with a 45-30 victory over Taylor Friday night at Tiger Gymnasium.

Rockdale fell to Navasota on the road Tuesday night 46-41 to slip to 12-6 and 1-1 in district.

Rockdale’s record on the season equals Rockdale’s victory total from last year when it finished 12-17.

“We are very happy with the win,” said Rockdale Coach Liz Galloway-McQuitter. “I think it is very clear that everyone has improved. We are going to have to really buckle down and fight our way through.”

McQuitter and the Lady Tigers welcomed back Alix Hoffman, who had missed eight games with an Achilles heel injury.

“Alix is working her way back into the lineup,” McQuitter said. “She gave us some quality minutes and we look forward to her getting her conditioning and game rhythm back.”

Hoffman—a 6-foot-2 senior transfer from Thorndale—finished with four points, five rebounds and five blocks off the bench.

Behind Velma Mitchell’s crack shooting, the Lady Tigers came out smoking in the first quarter and bolted to an 18-8 lead after one.

Mitchell struck for 10 of her season-high 24 points in the first quarter and Hoffman had both her baskets on back-toback shots in the quarter as Rockdale connected on 9-of-13 shots.

The Lady Tigers cooled considerably in the second quarter, but still maintained a 26-18 lead at the break on the strength of a Jamiere McBride three-pointer to open the quarter.

A steal and bucket from Iona Parker to open the third quarter closed the gap to 26-20, but Rockdale answered with an 8-2 run (with bookend jumpers from Mitchell) and its lead was secure, 34-23.

“Velma carried us offensively, but we had contributions from several players to seal the win,” McQuitter said. “Our defense has been key to our wins thus far this season and I do not see that changing. I would like to see us put up more points to go along with maintaining the defensive intensity.”

Rockdale not only got a boost from Hoffman inside, but also from Samantha Muston as the 5-foot-10 senior muscled inside for a game-high 12 rebounds.

“I thought Samantha Muston played a strong defensive game... and really made an impact,” said McQuitter.

Dae Dae Robertson, the Lady Tigers’ top scorer and rebounder was limited to four points and no rebounds.

The Ducks struggled from the floor and the free throw line, hitting on just 9-of-44 shots from the floor (20 percent) and 9-of-23 (39 percent) from the stripe.

Taylor missed 19 of 24 shots in the second half.

Cache Guyton led Taylor with 10 points, seven in the first half.

Taylor is trying to erase the memory of an 0-22 season in 2013 in which they went 0-10 in league play.

“It was a very different Taylor team than last year’s team. I am proud of how the girls responded by doing what we needed to do to win.”

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