The only things guaranteed in life are death, taxes, and excellent Mansfield Lady Tiger basketball. The JR Lady Tigers were challenged to fill some big shoes from the 2020-21 team who set records on their way to a conference and district title. Not only did the JR Tigers accept the challenge, but they’re also en route to beat it. Mansfield continued their unprecedented winning streak with a 32-16 win over the Magazine Rattlers on Friday, January 8th.
Right once Mansfield’s Kaylee Ward won the tip-off, the Lady Tigers went to work. It didn’t take long for Mansfield to get on the board with a Presley Curry three-point shot. The Tigers were able to get a Kaylie Lowery bucket and a Kaylee Ward free throw in after Presleys shot, but that was all she wrote offensively. Although Mansfield had a height advantage on the Rattlers, Magazine was able to cripple the Lady Tigers offense with a speedy defense causing the Lady Tigers to turn the ball over on multiple occasions. At the end of the first quarter, Mansfield held a narrow 6-3 lead over the Rattlers.
The Lady Tigers knew before the game that they would be short a couple of key players against Magazine so a couple of areas of the game plan would be questionable. The answer to those questions was summed up in one player….. Kaylie Lowery. Lowery took the hardwood by storm dominating every aspect of the game in the second quarter as she hung up six points and multiple rebounds against the Rattlers. Presley Curry remained a hot dish for Mansfield putting up a smooth two-point shot followed by Kaylee Ward who dumped a powerful layup to extend the Mansfield lead to 16-7 at the half.
Mansfield’s defense took over the story against Magazine in the third quarter. The Lady Tigers held Magazine to a mere two-point the entire quarter. Everywhere Magazine looked they would have Trinity Triska in their face, have a shot stuffed by Kaylee Ward or Kaylie Lowery, have Presley Curry stealing the ball, or see Ambria Whittaker barreling their way. Mansfield wasn’t happy allowing two points, so Kaylee Ward and Ambria Whittaker decided to put up six combined points in the quarter putting the Lady Tigers up 22-9.
The game was in hand for the Lady Tigers as the fourth quarter started, but Mansfield has a mindset of playing until the final buzzer and that’s exactly what they did. Trinity Triska was held silent offensively by the Rattlers for three quarters and she had had enough of that. Triska took a pass from Presley Curry and burned the floors down the court and hit a layup after being fouled giving her an “and one”. As the Lady Tigers continued their drive for the final buzzer, new faces joined in for the fight. Meghan Emery snatched a steal from the Rattlers and ditched a pass to Kaylie Lowery for the duce basket. Izabella Escalante acquired a steal and score also as the Lady Tigers heard the final buzzer giving them a 32-16 conference victory.
An impressive performance by Kaylie Lowery led the team with 10 points in the game followed by Kaylee Ward who rounded up 9 points. Presley Curry finished the game with 5 points, Ambria Whittaker downed 4 points, Trinity Triska knocked out 3 points, and Meghan Emery rounded out the Lady Tigers scoring with a one-point free throw. The win puts Mansfield undefeated with a 15-0 record as they prepare for a trip north to battle the Mountainburg Lady Dragons on Monday, January 10th.