Whitthorne clips Tigerettes

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
LMS' Leah Hollingsworth shoots a runner over a pair of Whitthorne defenders in the second quarter. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Lewisburg Middle School Tigerettes suffered their fifth straight loss on Thursday night when they dropped a hard fought 36-34 decision to Whitthorne Middle School in Columbia.

After taking a 16-11 lead into the halftime, the Tigerettes (1-5) held a 25-23 lead early in the fourth quarter. Lewisburg, however, was unable to hold off Whitthorne down the stretch, as WMS used a 12-5 run to seize a 35-30 lead with 1:00 left before holding on for the two-point victory.

Although the Tigerettes held a 7-2 edge in three-pointers, Whitthorne finished with a 14-11 advantage in field goals and outscored Lewisburg 6-5 at the foul line. WMS also outrebounded the Tigerettes 32-25, held a 13-10 edge on the offensive glass, and committed four fewer turnovers (16-12) than Lewisburg..

Leah Hollingsworth knocked down four treys and paced the Tigerettes with 15 points and six rebounds. Zachuriya O'Neal followed Hollingsworth with 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while Britni Davis tallied five points and three assists. Sydne Soloman and Taianda Hutton chipped in two and one point respectively for Lewisburg as well.

Keadriana Webster paced Whitthorne with 12 points, while Taisa Dial and Macy Gilliam added 11 and eight points respectively. Caroline Chance and Tillie Roberts also notched two points for WMS, and Terri Wilson had one point.

The Tigerettes got off to a promising start and jumped out to an 8-0 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to a short bank shot by Solomon and a pair of Hollingsworth threes.

LMS' Zachuriya O'Neal fires up a three-pointer in the fourth quarter against Whitthorne.

Whitthorne rattled off nine straight points to pull ahead 9-8 early in the second period, but O'Neal drilled a trey from the right wing and Davis knocked down a jumper to give Lewisburg a 13-9 lead late in the first half.

After WMS trimmed the deficit to 13-11 on an offensive put back by Roberts, O'Neal converted a three-point play in the waning moments of the half to stake the Tigerettes to a 16-11 advantage at the break.

Whitthorne opened the second half with a 12-5 run to seize a 23-21 advantage late in the third quarter, but Hollingsworth buried a three in the closing seconds of the stanza to put Lewisburg up 24-23, prior to converting one-of-two free throws early in the fourth period to make it 25-23.

WMS then tallied the next eight points to grab a 31-25 lead before the Tigerettes closed the gap to 33-30 on the strength of a Davis trey and a runner by Hollingsworth.

Following a layup by Dial, which pushed Whitthorne's advantage to 35-30, Hollingsworth canned a trey and Hutton hit one-of-two foul shots to slice the deficit to 35-34 with 2.4 seconds remaining.

Lewisburg, though, was whistled for an intentional foul on the ensuing inbounds play before Dial made one-of-two free throws to extend WMS' lead to 36-34. Whitthorne then ran the remaining time off the clock to hang on for the win.