By Will Johnson
SLOCUM – The Slocum Lady Mustangs are quickly turning their new gymnasium into a house of horrors for visiting teams. It seems as if Coach Dustin Bates’ squad can’t buy a basket in the opening minutes of the home games. Then, the Lady Mustangs seem to do just enough to hang around by the time the horn sounds for halftime. In the second half, the shots start to drop, the defense starts to pay off and Slocum winds up winning, sending their opponents back home wondering how they lost.
It happened again on Tuesday night. The Rosebud-Lott Lady Cougars were in town to take on the Lady Mustangs and while the Lady Cougars led for most of the game, it was the Lady Mustangs who went into their Christmas break with the 50-46 win.
Slocum fell behind early in the contest as the Lady Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead before ending the quarter ahead by a score of 14-12. Keauna Whitfield scored eight on two threes and two point basket for Rosebud-Lott. She was joined in the scoring column by Rebecca Bennett, Cheyanne Fulton and Armani Johnson with two each.
The Lady Mustangs were able to stay in the contest thanks to eight points from Jessi Ives. Ives hit four free throws to go along with two buckets from the field. Shelby Bowman and Taylor Clark picked up the other four points for Slocum in the first quarter.
The pace slowed somewhat in the second. The Lady Cougars scored 10 in the quarter on five from Whitfield, a three-pointer from Alexandra Minor and a two from Bennett.
Slocum also scored 10 in the quarter on five points from Jaylyn Fletcher who knocked down a three to go along with a two-pointer. Bowman added a three of her own and Ives dropped in two more to make the halftime score 24-22, in favor of Rosebud – Lott.
After the break, Slocum’s Clark began to heat up. She opened the quarter with a three and added four more points from inside for seven in the third. Fletcher hit her second three of the game and Ives made one of two from the line to help turn the two point halftime deficit into a one point lead after three periods of play.
The Lady Cougars were limited to eight points in the quarter. Whitfield added four more to her total, Johnson converted two free throws and Kailey Bennett dropped in two to make the score 33-32, with eight minutes left to play.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Mustangs used the charity stripe to their advantage as they scored eight of their 17 points from the line. Clark continued her hot shooting as she scored another seven points. Ives scored five on a two pointer and three from the line, Bowman hit her second three of the game and MaKayla Bickerstaff knocked down two free throws.
Rosebud-Lott was not about to make things easy for Slocum, however. With the score tied at 44 with under three minutes to play, the Lady Mustangs picked up the defensive tempo and limited the Lady Cougars to a pair of free throws down the stretch and held on for the 50-46 win.
Rosebud-Lott received five points from Whitfield and three Johnson in the fourth quarter. They were joined by K. Bennett, R. Bennett and Minor with two apiece.
For the game, the Lady Mustangs were led by Taylor Clark with 16 and Jessi Ives with 14 points. Shelby Bowman and Jaylyn Fletcher each dropped in eight while both MaKayla Bickerstaff and Briley Evers had two.
The Lady Cougars were led by Keauna Whitfield’s game-high 22 points. She was joined in the Rosebud-Lott scoring column by Armani Johnson with seven, Rebecca Bennett with six, Alexandra Minor with five, Kailey Bennett with four and Cheyanne Fulton with two.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.