The Lewisburg Middle School Tigerettes got off to a promising start to the 2012-13 basketball campaign by going on the road and defeating the Spring Hill Lady Generals 40-17 on Monday night.
After trailing much of the first half, the Tigerettes used a late run in the second quarter to take a 14-12 lead into the break.
Lewisburg then completely dominated the second half of play and outscored Spring Hill 26-5 over the final two periods to pull away for the 23-point victory.
Bolstered by a 12-of-25 shooting performance in the second half, the Tigerettes finished with a 17-6 edge in field goals and held a 5-0 advantage in three-pointers. LMS also outrebounded the Lady Generals 27-19 and held a 9-6 edge on the offensive glass.
"This was a great way to start the season, but we can't be satisfied and have to continue working hard in practice because we play a good E.A. Cox team next Monday," said Lewisburg coach Chris Coleman. "Early on we were playing a little hurriedly, but we settled down and started making some shots. Spring Hill came out with a unique zone defense and it took us a half to adjust to that and find our rhythm."
Point guard Zachuriya O'Neal was the Tigerettes main offensive catalyst, as she poured in a career high 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting to go along with six rebounds and two assists. Leah Hollingsworth knocked down three treys and followed O'Neal with 11 points and four steals, while Taianda Hutton added six points and three steals. Britni Davis tallied five points for LMS as well.
Jordyn Secrest paced the Lady Generals with seven points, while Destiny Oden notched five points and 10 rebounds. Gracie Willett and Gracyn Martin also chipped in three and two points respectively for Spring Hill.
The Lady Generals actually got off to a strong start and held a 9-3 lead early in the second quarter, but Lewisburg narrowed the gap to 9-8 midway through the stanza with the help of a three-point play by O'Neal and a Davis baseline jumper.
The Tigerettes then caught fire offensively after the break and opened the second half with a 22-0 run behind 10 points from O'Neal, six points from Hutton, and a pair of Hollingsworth threes to forge a 36-12 advantage midway through the fourth quarter.
Following a free throw by Secrest, which trimmed the deficit to 36-13, Lewisburg pushed their lead to 40-15 with 1:15 left thanks to a O'Neal jumper and a layup by Hollingsworth before coasting to the 40-17 triumph.