LMS Tigerettes surge past Whitthorne

Friday, December 14, 2012
LMS' Zachuriya O'Neal shoots a layup after driving past a Whitthorne defender in the first quarter. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Lewisburg Middle School Tigerettes (2-6) snapped their six-game losing streak on Monday night when they defeated Whitthorne Middle School 34-30 at home.

Whitthorne had narrowly defeated Lewisburg 36-34 in their previous meeting on Nov. 29, and held a 20-15 lead at halftime of Monday's contest before opening up a 27-18 advantage midway through the third quarter.

The Tigerettes, however, came on strong down the stretch and outscored WMS 16-3 over the final eight minutes of the game to pull out the four-point victory.

"It feels good to get the monkey off our backs. We came close to winning the last two games so it's nice to get a win," said Lewisburg coach Chris Coleman. "I'm proud of the girls because we had to fight back after being behind almost the whole game. Hopefully we can build on this."

Although Whitthorne finished with a 12-10 advantage in field goals, the Tigerettes held a 4-1 edge in three-pointers and outscored WMS 10-5 at the free throw line thanks to a 7-of-8 performance at the charity stripe by guard Leah Hollingsworth in the fourth quarter.

"Free throws proved to be the difference in the game and Leah hit some big ones in the fourth quarter for us," said Coleman.

Whitthorne did outrebound Lewisburg 31-19 overall, but the Tigerettes held a 9-4 edge on the offensive glass and forced 23 WMS turnovers while turning the ball over only nine times.

Hollingsworth led the Tigerettes with a season high 18 points, and Zachuriya O'Neal tallied seven points. Taianda Hutton also added four points and six steals, while Britni Davis and Sydney Solomon both notched two points with Davis dishing out four assists. Kendrah Ashby chipped in one point for Lewisburg as well.

Caroline Chance paced Whitthorne with 10 points, while Keadriana Webster registered six points. Tillie Roberts and Saderia Mulholland also tallied five points apiece for WMS.

Whitthorne raced out to a quick 6-0 lead before the Tigerettes went on an 8-3 run with the help of four points from Hutton and baskets from Solomon and Davis to narrow the gap to 9-8 early in the second quarter.

WMS outscored Lewisburg 11-4 over the next 4:39 to open up a 20-12 advantage before Hollingsworth banked in a three from the top of the key as time expired in the first half to trim the deficit to 20-15.

LMS' Leah Hollingsworth fires up a short jumper over Whitthorne's Keadriana Webster in the second quarter.

After Whitthorne notched the first four points of the second half to make it 24-15, O'Neal buried a trey to close the gap to 24-18, but Roberts converted a three-point play to give WMS a 27-18 advantage with 2:57 left in the third quarter.

The Tigerettes then started to claw their way back into the game and put together an 11-2 run on the strength of nine points from Hollingsworth to knot the game at 29-29 midway through the fourth period.

Bethany Hampton hit one-of-two free throws to stake Whitthorne to a 30-29 lead, but Hollingsworth made three-of-four foul shots to put Lewisburg up 32-30 with 1:17 left.

The Tigerettes then held WMS scoreless on their next three possessions before O'Neal drained two clutch foul shots with 2.9 seconds remaining to seal the Tigerettes' 34-30 win.