Charleston battled 4A-1 power Pea Ridge Tuesday night in a hard-played, physical game, that ended with the Lady Tigers comeback falling just short to the Lady Blackhawks, 46-43. The game saw Charleston fall behind at times during the game and then battle its way back into contention.
The win for Pea Ridge improved their record to 3-1 on the young season, while Charleston dropped to 3-1-1. Charleston coach Jason Rucker was proud of his team’s effort against Pea Ridge. “I thought our kids showed a lot of heart digging themselves out of an early hole. I was really proud of how they just kept battling to get back into it.” Baylee King led the Lady Tigers with 15 points on the night. For Pea Ridge, Blakelee Winn poured in 25 points in the victory.
Charleston’s talent and experience are evident as they have shown the ability to adjust to any game situation, making adjustments, playing hard, and being in every game they play. And there is certainly no question to the toughness of this team. Last night’s game saw players hitting the floor, colliding with other players, and noses being bloodied in the physical battle with Pea Ridge. Through it all, Charleston played extremely hard, battling back from a large first half deficit to tie the game at half, and then again in the fourth quarter. The effort fell just short, but it was a good experience for the Lady Tigers, proving that they are never out of a game. There is simply no “quit” in this team.
The Lady Tigers program believes in playing a tough early schedule to prepare them for tournament play starting in late February. Although Charleston lost the game, the intensity of this game against a quality 4A opponent will help Charleston prepare for conference play and post-season play later in the schedule.
The Lady Tigers will play in the Scranton Invitational Tournament starting December 2. Charleston now has several days off for the Thanksgiving break, as well as to practice and make corrections. Charleston has played five games since November 11, and Coach Rucker is looking forward to having practice time to work on adjustments now that the season has begun. The final non-conference game will be held December 13 at Lake Hamilton, and conference play will begin December 17 at Cedarville.
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