The Mansfield Jr Lady Tigers program is well on its way to becoming a dynasty. After a 33-21 District Championship win over 2A powerhouse the Acorn Lady Tigers on Saturday, February 13, the Jr Lady Tigers now hold conference and district titles in the 3A-4 and the 2A-4. Being able to earn those titles is good in a career, but winning them in back-to-back seasons is top-notch.
The Lady Tigers definitely had confidence on their side as they entered in the District Championship round with a 13-1 overall record, a 5-0 conference record, and a previous 37-25 win over Acorn at Acorn earlier in the month. Add in an explosive home crowd packed in the Jungle and this should’ve been an automatic win right? But Acorn wasn’t about to just hand the District Championship over. The tip-off went to Mansfield and the two sets of Lady Tigers went to work. Mansfield’s offense had problems getting the ball down low to their dominant posts, Alyson Edwards and Kaylee Ward, which hindered their scoring. Their defense on the other hand played lights out holding Acorn to only 2 points the first quarter ending with a score of 7-2 Mansfield.
The second quarter started out as the same old song and dance as neither team could really pull away from the other. This was aggressive basketball at its finest and neither team held back. The Lady Tigers though kept inching closer and closer to a sizable gap on Acorn on the scoreboard. Starters Kynslee Ward, Harlie Fuller, Alyson Edwards, Ambria Whittaker, and Kylee Ward began to sync offensively which spelled out trouble for Acorn as Mansfield went into the half with a 13-8 lead.
The rest of the game was a blur for all in the stands as The Jungle erupted in the third quarter. Mansfield brought the home crowd to their feet throughout the 3rd quarter with quick steals, powerful blocked shots, sweet assists, and smooth shots. Acorn tried to shut out the noise and maintain focus, but they couldn’t stop the onslaught of Red and White on the court. The 4th quarter started with a score of 21-13 and there was one thing left to do. Finish Acorn off.
Halfway through the quarter, Coach Joshua Bryan paid his respect to those who had stuck with the program over the years by putting in his full 9th-grade squad on the court to close out the game. Mansfield had only had five freshmen on the team this season and those five have been a team since Little League so the move by Bryan was perfect. Kynslee Ward, Alyson Edwards, Harlie Fuller, Raine Hecox, and Cole Smith finished what they started years ago and ended the season with a 33-21 victory and yet another Mansfield Lady Tiger Championship.
Total season stats are as follows:
Raine Hecox: 15 points, 13 rebounds, 5 deflections, 6 assists, and 10 steals.
Kynslee Ward: 146 points, 39 rebounds, 51 assists, 7 blocks, 84 steals, and 33 deflections.
Harlie Fuller: 99 points, 30 rebounds, 16 assists, 28 steals, and 15 deflections.
Cole Smith: 10 points, 22 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 4 steals, and 3 deflections.
Alyson Edwards: 140 points, 88 rebounds, 17 assists, 9 blocks, 52 steals, and 27 deflections.
Trinity Triska: 2 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 14 steals, and 3 deflections.
Shelbie Fuller: 29 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 2 deflections.
Sayde McDowell: 1 deflection.
Ambria Whittaker: 28 points, 30 rebounds, 18 assists, 1 block, 26 steals, and 11 deflections.
Presley Curry: 8 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 4 steals.
Meghan Emery: 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steals, and 3 deflections.
Laney Wood: 2 points, 1 rebound, 4 steals, and 2 deflections.
Kaylee Ward: 180 points, 118 rebounds, 15 assists, 84 blocks, 55 steals, and 28 deflections.