The Lady Tigers edged out the Lady Mustangs 54-50 and the Tigers pulled away from the Mustangs late for a 69-58 victory.
The Lady Tigers improved to 10-5 overall with a 1-0 mark in the region, while the Lady Mustangs fell to 9-7 overall with a 0-1 mark in the region. The Tigers’ victory pushed them to 8-6 overall with a 1-0 mark in the region, while the Mustangs fell to 9-7 overall with a 0-1 mark in the region.
The Lady Tigers started their contest slow, but in the second half the defensive intensity picked up.
"We were too flat to start the game,” Lady Tigers head coach Chiquita Bracey said. “I don't know why, but these girls like to come out slow and then when the game gets tight they decide to play harder. We have to stop that if we want to continue to have success out here.”
In addition to the team's effort being stronger in the second half, Bracey received a lift off the bench from freshman LaChyna Primer, who gave the Lady Tigers some quality second half minutes.
"LaChyna played some big minutes for us tonight and hit some big baskets for us on the block. I'm really proud of her effort tonight because we needed that inside," added Bracey.
The Lady Tigers trailed at halftime 25-22, but at the end of the third they had taken a 41-33 lead.
The Lady Mustangs would not fold the tent and behind the play of Monica Smith they managed to get back in the game. Smith sparked McClain in the fourth quarter with nine points and with some help from her teammates tied the score at 48-48 with 3:37 left in the contest.
The Tigers went up 50-48 off a steal and layup from Shakira Singleton with 2:04 on the clock.
With 1:05 left in the game, McClain scored a lay-up to tie the game at 50-50. The game remained knotted, but with 48 seconds left in the game Singleton found Primer under the basket for a lay-up and a 52-50 lead. Singleton stole the ball from a McClain player and raced up court for a 54-50 lead with 27 seconds on the clock, which proved to be enough for the win.
Singleton led the Tigers with 21 points, followed by Primer with 12 points and Robrieka Finn with 10 points. Smith led McClain with 22 points.
The boys contest was a tight tilt through out the night.
The game was tied at 30-30 at halftime and locked at 45-45 after the third quarter.
With 2:49 left in the game, McClain's Winford Ross, Jr. knocked down two free throws to bring his team to within three points at 57-54.
Ruleville responded with baskets from Datrick Thurmond, Anthony Spivey and Kondarius Phillips for a 63-54 lead. The team closed out the game outscoring McClain 6-4 to end with a 69-58 win.
Phillips led Ruleville with 19 points, followed by Spivey with 13 points, Chris Montgomery with 11 points and Tyquan Rule with nine points.
Mallet and Ross led McClain with 19 points each.