Lady Tigers improve, fall to Harker Heights, Midway
Thursday, 31 January 2013 by Tony Adams
The Belton Lady Tigers basketball team looked to put the dreary Midway shooting performance behind them Tuesday night at Tiger Gym playing host to the Harker Heights Lady Knights.
They shot better. Unfortunately, they couldn't keep the Lady Knights off the free throw line.
Plagued by turnovers and parades to the free-throw line, Harker Heights defeated Belton on Big Red's home court 66-53 to hand the Tigers another defeat in District 8-5A play.
Alexis Dukes set the pace for the Lady Knights early, with the first five points of the game. Emily Hugo got the Tigers on the board with a field goal at the 6:05 mark of the first quarter to make the score 5-2. Olivia Warehime was substituted in and immediately hit Belton's next seven points to give the Lady Tigers a 9-7 lead with 3:10 to play in the first quarter. Dukes, Jaylynn Bonner and Lauren Finley launched Harker Heights on an 8-0 run to close the quarter with a 15-9 lead. A lead that the Lady Knights would not relinquish.
Dukes and Ashley Harvey stretched the lead out to 10 for Heights within the first 26 seconds of the second quarter. Warehime hit consecutive shots and Hugo completed a three-point play draw the Lady Tigers back within three points at 19-16. Heights bullied the Lady Tigers into fouling regularly, a habit that Belton does not have. The Lady Knights went to the line several times and converted 13 of 15 free throws during the quarter, closing out the half on a 17-8 run and led at the half 36-24.
Dukes and Angela Delaney gave the Lady Tigers more headaches in the third quarter, combining for all 16 of Harker Heights points. Belton hung with the Lady Knights, with Hugo, Warehime and Kesha Butler keeping the Lady Tigers in pace. Harker Heights led 52-39 going into the final stanza.
Butler, Hugo and Briana Ragland posted all of the Lady Tigers 15 points in the fourth quarter. Once again, Duke, Delaney and Jada Evans came to the forefront as the game see-sawed through the quarter. Although the Lady Tigers closed the Lady Knights lead to within 10 at 60-50 with 2:27 remaining, Belton could not get any closer, as the turnover bug continually bit the Lady Tigers, committing 25 on the evening compared to 14 for Harker Heights.
Delaney scored 25 points for Harker Heights, with 16 of the points coming from the free throw line. Dukes scored 19 for the Lady Knights, nine of which came from the free throw line. Harker Heights shot 85 percent from the free throw line, converting 29 of 34 attempts.
"I though we played aggressive today," said Harker Heights coach Shirretha Nelson. "We relaxed late. We allowed too many baskets. We struggled on the boards tonight. We didn't block out and allowed them too many rebound opportunities. They were very aggressive on the inside."
Hugo had 17 points for Belton. Warehime had 13 points and Butler poured in 12 points for the Lady Tigers, who still looking for their first win in District 8-5A play.
"We didn't move our feet the way we needed to," said Belton coach Brenda Gomez. "We have been working on stopping the ball for a month now and it didn't look like it tonight. I was happy with the way we blocked out. But the turnovers looked like we were back to square one."
Lady Panthers down BHS
The Waco Midway Lady Panthers gave the Belton Lady Tigers fits throughout Friday night's District 8-5A tilt in Hewitt.
However, Belton's shooting has remained a frozen asset through several points in the grueling, unforgiving district schedule.
Cursed by a 34 percent field goal performance and 33 percent free throw percentage, the Lady Tigers fell to Midway 41-34 in the chilly Waco suburbs.
The Lady Tigers trailed 15-7 after the first quarter. Belton and Midway tuned up the point totals in the second quarter, each scoring 12 points. The Lady Panthers maintained an eight-point advantage at halftime, up 27-19.
Cold shooting by both teams ensued in the third, as both sides scored two points and Midway took a 29-21 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Panthers 13-12 in the fourth quarter. But the deficit was too much for Belton to handle, as the Lady Tigers continue their search for their first District 8-5A win of the season.
Mikeal Wilder scored 14 points in the Midway victory, scoring eight points in the second quarter. Shelby Stidham contributed 10 points for the Lady Panthers, eight in the first quarter.
Kinsey Williams and Emily Hugo each had eight points in the loss for the Lady Tigers.
Cold free throw shooting was the name of the game on both sides, with Belton converting five of 15 free throws and Midway converting five of 16 free throws. The Lady Tigers were just 13 of 38 from the field.
The Lady Tigers look to avenge their 52-39 district loss against Harker Heights on Tuesday at Tiger Gym as they take on the Lady Knights.
"Hopefully, we can convert our free shots better than tonight," said coach Brenda Gomez. "And hopefully, we can send them to the free throw line less. We have to make sure we turn the ball over less than we did tonight (21 against Midway)."