By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CENTERVILLE – The Slocum Lady Mustangs were on the road this weekend as they traveled to Centerville to take part in the Centerville Tournament. While it wasn’t the result the Lady Mustangs were hoping for, they did manage to capture third place in the highly competitive tournament.

In their first game of the tournament, Slocum defeated the Lovelady Lady Lions by a final score of 38-28. In their next game, the Lady Mustangs took down the Leon Lady Cougars by a score of 59-31.

Against the Buffalo Lady Bjessi-ives-2016ison in Bracket Play, however, Slocum lost a tough match-up in the tournament semifinals by a final of 56-50.

The Lady Mustangs tipped off the third place game against the Mart Lady Panthers on Saturday, Dec. 10 and found themselves in a battle. The two teams matched up well against each other and after the first eight minutes of play, the scoreboard showed Slocum ahead 11-10.

Slocum was led by Jessi Ives with nine in the quarter. She was joined in the Lady Mustangs scoring column by Cheyenne Nunley who chipped in a bucket to round out the Slocum first quarter scoring.

Mart was led by Karleigh Gooden and Adrianne Rauls with four apiece, while Kymra Franklin chipped in two.

The second quarter saw the offenses for both teams step up the tempo in the back and forth game. Nunley led the Lady Mustangs with two threes as part of her eight points in the period. Ives and Shelby Bowman both had three, MaKayla Bickerstaff and Taylor Clark both scored two and Laney Lasiter added one to close out the half with Slocum ahead, 30-28.

Rauls lit it up in the quarter with eight, while Gooden added five to her total. Ca’Purnika Galbert and Sadie Rawlins each scored two while Brennan Bain made one of two from the line to close out the first half scoring for Mart.

As the third quarter got underway, neither team would give an inch. Slocum scored 13 in the third while Mart scored 12 to make the score 43-40 with eight minutes left in the game.

Ives led the Lady Mustangs in scoring with four in the third while Bowman hit her second three of the game. The Slocum trio of Clark, Nunley and   Courtney January all added two to close out the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Mart would simply not go away. Their Achilles hell, however, became apparent. The Lady Panthers simply could not short free throws. In the first half, Mart shot an abysmal four of 14 from the line.

In the third quarter alone, the Lady Panthers went to the charity stripe 13 times and only made five. Despite that –  with Gooden scoring five, Bain dropping in four, Rauls adding two and Galbert making a free throw – the Lady Panthers only found themselves down by three with eight minutes left to play.

As nunleythe fourth quarter got underway, the Lady Panthers issues at the line continued. Rauls, who had been solid early on, scored seven but only converted three of eight free throws. Gooden added six for Mart to close out the Lady Panthers point production.

The Lady Mustangs did just enough to keep it interesting as the game clock ticked down.  Ives scored six and Jalyn Fletcher broke into the scoring column with five points.  Bowman, Clark and Nunley all had two apiece as the Lady Mustangs held on to win by a score of 60-53.

On the game, Mart was led in scoring by Adrianne Rauls with 21 points. Right behind her was Karleigh Gooden with 20. Brennan Bain dropped in five, Ca’Purnika Galbert netted three as both Kymra Franklin and Sadie Rawlins had two to account for all the Mart points.

Slocum was led by Jessi Ives with a game high 22 points. Cheyenne Nunley followed with 14 and Shelby Bowman had eight. Taylor Clark had six, Jalyn Fletcher scored five, MaKayla Bickerstaff and Courtney January each two and Laney Lasiter rounded out the Lady Mustangs scoring with one.

Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.