Eager to get over last week’s loss to North Pike, the McComb girls were hoping to get back to their winning ways with a road game at Lanier Friday night. And despite holding the lead late, the Tigers could not close the deal, getting edged by the Bulldogs 37-35.
“You play well enough to win but then you don’t execute well enough to win at the end of the game,” McComb head coach Charlton Grey said. “It is a heartbreaking loss, but you have to learn.”
The normal high-powered offense that the Tigers (12-5, 6-2) boast struggled against the Bulldogs. An Allaijah Gamble 3-pointer and a basket each from Calise Jackson and Kinesha Harris represented the lone points of the first quarter for McComb. The defense, however limited the Bulldogs to a similar output as the game was tied at seven heading into the second quarter.
Harris began to increase her intensity in the second with two additional makes but the remainder of the Tiger offense could not complement with the exception of a basket from Keaunna Cruse. McComb trailed 14-13 at halftime.
The Tiger defense really stepped up in the third limiting the Bulldogs to just four points, all of which came via free throws. But the offense could not follow suit, getting only five points which came mostly from Harris.
Senior Deondrea Young found her groove in the fourth scoring 11 of her 12 points including two 3-pointers. Harris, who finished with a team-high 13 points, poured in another three but it wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs made a late surge, regained the lead and held on for the win.
McComb boys lose to Lanier
Even though they got arguably the best game of the year from sophomore guard Isaac Gary, who had a team-high 25 points, the McComb boys had only one other double-digit scorer Friday as they fell to Lanier 74-59 on the road.
“We came out and played them hard,” McComb head coach Karshae Peterson said. “I commend my guys, we fought and we played until the buzzer.”
With the exception of a six-point effort in the third quarter, the Tigers (7-8, 3-5) had strong outings in the first, second and fourth quarters. In the first Eric Powell, Gary and Galvin Speight each recorded five points. But the Bulldogs also got off to a great start, converting 10-of-11 free throws, taking a 22-17 lead into the second.
Another strong quarter from Gary in the second fueled the McComb attack. The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 16-14 eating into the lead and pulling within three at 36-33 at the half.
But a slow third quarter, consisting of a basket each from Gary, Powell and Jameer Lewis, hurt McComb. On the other end of the floor, Lanier kept its foot on the gas as it began to pull away.
“The third quarter is our Achilles heel,” Peterson said. “Boy, there is something about the third quarter!”
While the Tigers got their offense back on track in the third with 10 points from Gary and eight from Lewis, it was not enough as the Bulldogs sealed the win.