Pictured is Chloe Creekmore
There’s no rest for the weary. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what cost Mansfield a perfect conference record. The Sr Lady Tigers started the season with 15 players on a super talented roster. Ill-fatedly, the Lady Tigers loaded the bus on Tuesday, January 19th to travel to hostile territory to face Acorn with 7 players in a #1 vs #2 brawl for it all. Mansfield beat Acorn earlier in the season, but on that fateful night, it was the Blue Tigers who got even with a 59-42 victory over the Lady Tigers.
The Lady Tigers came out of the gate with the looks of an untouchable team. Acorn focused on shutting down Mansfield superstars Makayla Strutton and Danielle Lillie, which makes sense, but that focus backfired. Acorn was left dangling from a limb as Chloe Creekmore put out her best performance of the season in the 1st quarter. Creekmore snatched rebounds, deflected passes, and scored off the board like a wild banshee. That pulled the pressure off of Strutton and Lillie who then went to work as the Lady Tigers closed out the first quarter with a 21-15 lead.
Mansfield started off the 2nd quarter with the same ferocity as they started the game with, but their fire began to run out of oxygen. Playing shorthanded and unable to sub in players as they usually do, fatigue began to set in. Acorn noticed the Lady Tigers were sucking wind and began to put their foot on the pedal. At the 4:48 mark of the second quarter, Acorn took the lead for the first time in the game and it was all downhill from there for the Lady Tigers. Mansfield’s fatigue mixed with Acorns’ ever-growing lead was a recipe for disaster. The Lady Tigers began making costly mistakes like poor passing, getting beat on rebounds, and making frustration fouls.
The fatigue was evident to all as the Lady Tigers only scored 21 points total in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters combined which matched their points in the 1st quarter alone. The Blue Tigers held Mansfield to one of their lowest statistical games this season. Although Acorn didn’t completely stop them, they held stars Danielle Lillie to 12 points and Makayla Strutton to 11 points in the game. Chloe Creekmore’s explosive first quarter brought her some solid stats with 10 points, but most of those were at the beginning of the match. Starters Natalie Allison and Brooke Wright combined for 9 points in the game to round out the scoring.
The loss drops Mansfield in 2nd place in the 2A-4 leaving Acorn sitting on top at #1. Although both teams have the same conference record now, Acorn beat Mansfield by 17 while Mansfield’s win over the blue Tigers earlier in the season was only 13 points giving Acorn the points lead for a tiebreaker. The Lady Tigers must continue to win and pray another conference team pulls off an upset of Acorn if they are to regain their top spot. Mansfield must lick their wounds and rebound quickly as they will be traveling to County Line to face the Indians on Friday, January 22nd. It’s not how the Lady Tigers fell that matters though. It’s how quickly they get back up that will determine the fate of this team.