Lady Tigers fend off Panthers


Derrick Parker - PDT Sports Contributor



NEW BOSTON — The New Boston Lady Tigers defeated the Clay Panthers by a score of 58-45 Thursday evening. The Tigers survived a late game surge by the Panthers, who went on a 13-1 run to open the fourth quarter and the cut the lead to within seven points.

New Boston opened the game by going on a 10-3 run. They were going inside early and often to center Ali Hamilton who scored 15 points as she recorded a double-double. Hamilton also tallied six blocks and 12 rebounds on the night. The Tigers crashed the offensive glass all night and used their size of the young Panther squad to their advantage. The quarter would end with a score of 12-6.

Clay battled back within the second quarter. They cut the lead to just one point, 14-13. However, the Tigers responded going on a 12-0 run to end the half. Clay’s Jenson Warnock was held scoreless going into the third.

She would not remain scoreless, however. She scored her first points at the five minute mark in the third and started to get her offensive flow. Mariah Buckley was having a great night herself, leading the game with 24 points with eight of those coming from the charity strike. The quarter would end with a score of 45-26.

Clay pulled off a huge 13-1 run to open up the final quarter. They forced New Boston into 10 turnovers, equaling the amount they had the rest of the game combined. Warnock scored 14 of her 19 points in crunch time. The Panthers fought and clawed and cut the lead to just seven. The Tigers eventually settled down though, finishing the game by a 13 point margin.

“For the first three quarters we just didn’t have the energy,” admitted Clay Head Coach Scott Cayton. “I’m just disappointed with the effort and energy. In the fourth quarter we came out and played with the effort and intensity that we always need to play with. If we can do that we will be pretty good. Warnock has to be as aggressive all game as she was in the fourth. She has to attack the basket and look to score on the perimeter. If we don’t attack the basket we just aren’t going to get good looks. In the fourth we did that.”

“We’ve been the smaller team in every game we’ve played this year. They played hard and affected us on offense. We just have to come out with a better mindset and come out being more aggressive. We have to step up our game a bit. The rest of the year I want us to learn that there is one way to play the game. That is the right game. If we play the wrong way, with our size and youth, we are going to lose games.”

Clay hosts the Southeastern Trojans Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.

New Boston travels to East Tuesday to face off against the Tartans. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.

“We lost our composure a bit in the fourth,” said New Boston Head Coach Kayla Wiley. “We are mostly young kids, but the last couple minutes we managed to knock down our free throws and regain a bit of composure. “Mariah Buckley is a phenonmenal player. She’s always looking to score and I haven’t seen anyone yet really stop her when she drives. Teams usually focus on trying to keep Ali Hamilton out of the paint. We find a way to get her points, she gets her blocks on the defensive end and she always goes after the boards hard inside. She works really hard for us and she deserves everything she gets each night.”

“Right now we are 9-8. We are about fourth in the SOC and the rest of the season we are going to work on composure and growth. We want to finish out the season strong.”

Box Score

New Boston 12 14 19 13 58

Clay 6 7 13 19 45

Individual Stats:

New Boston: Buckley 24, Hamilton 15, Stone 11, Howard 5, Oiler 3

Clay: Warnock 19, R. Osborne 7, Delotell 7, Brown 6, S. Osborne 3, Artis 3

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Derrick Parker

PDT Sports Contributor

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