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Lady Tigers get win in OT over Beach, tie for first in region
Mei-Sean Lee was credited with making three point shots during critical portions of the game. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
For the first time since 2003 the Lady Tigers beat a tough regional Beach team Tuesday evening. It took four minutes of overtime to get the job done.
While Beach maintained a lead throughout most of the game, thanks to sharp shooter Monique Willis, the Tigers rallied late in the third quarter with Mariah Maternik driving down court and hitting Brytnii Speight on the inside for the easy lay-up on more than one occasion.
With a chance to seal the deal in regulation, the Lady Tigers mishandled a pass inbounds that landed in Willis' hand instead. With a quick jump and lay-up at the final buzzer Beach tied the score (50-50).
The Lady Bulldogs took the lead first in overtime but were called for three fouls, giving the Lady Tigers an opportunity to eke out a lead. With 24 seconds left the Lady Tigers thought they had a comfortable five-point lead only to see it dwindle when the Lady Bulldogs sank a three-point shot making it a 60-58 score.
Stevonna Scot drew a foul and made the first shot at the line. She missed the second and the rebound landed with Speight and a Lady Bulldog fighting for the ball as the seconds ticked off the clock to end the game (61-58).
"My hearts is still bounding," Lady Tiger coach Faye Baker said. "When I saw Monique hit that basket to go into overtime, I thought for sure we were done. I thought they would carry that momentum into overtime."
Baker said it felt good to know her team is capable of beating a team like Beach that is always well coached and has a long history of good basketball.
With the victory over Beach and Groves' victory over Johnson the Lady Tigers are now tied for first place in 3-AAAAA region. Their only loss in regional action was to Groves at Groves on Dec. 7. The Lady Tigers will face Groves Friday night in a regional grudge match to see who comes out on top.
"They beat us at their court early this season and now the first place title is on the line so that and revenge is a factor in this game," she said.
Baker credits Maternik, Speight and Seandre Lee for bringing their A game to Beach.  She also praised Correnda Duvernay for her ability to box out Willis during the overtime. Scott and Mei-Sean Lee were given credit for making the critical free throws and three-point shots necessary to keep the Lady Tigers in the game.
We made some mistakes obviously," Lady Bulldog coach Ronald Booker said. "But we played hard and we gave it our best and that's all I can ask for in a game."
The rematch between the Lady Tigers and the Lady Groves Rebels is Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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