It was a lackadaisical start to the Mansfield Sr High Tigers and the Charleston Tigers face-off Tuesday night as the scoreboard merely read 29-12 at halftime. After an inspiring halftime speech by Mansfield coach, Keith Dake, the Tigers shot onto the court with a new attitude and a rekindled determination. Mansfield knew it was going to be hard to knock top conference Charleston off of their pedestal but they weren’t going to go down without a fight.
Mansfield set the hardwood ablaze in the second half of the game forcing Charleston out of their comfort zone and although they took a 64-41 loss, the Red Tigers went down swinging. Ethan Stovall put 20 points on the board followed by Tyler Holmes with nine, and Codi Chick with eight. “Offensively we were very slow getting started,” explained Coach Dake. “Charleston’s zone defense was huge, much bigger than any zone we had seen up to this point in the season. We came out timid in the first half, afraid to attack, which led to our slow start and inconsistent scoring opportunities.”
“Finally, in the 4th quarter, senior Ethan Stovall came out ready to give the Tigers the offensive spark they needed scoring 14 of his team-high 20 points in the final quarter of the game. Looking to the future, we have to attack the glass offensively and finish strong at the rim. Our best games have come when we relentlessly attack our opponents.”
On Friday, February 14, Mansfield will travel to Cedarville for their final conference game of the season and take on the Pirates with the Sr girls starting at 6 p.m. The Tigers are 8-13 in total season play while the Pirates are 10-18. Both teams sit 4-9 in conference play and with a win this Friday, the Tigers could tie for a top-four finish in conference which would in return put Mansfield in a tiebreaker with Greenland going into the District Tournament.
Photos courtesy of Raine Hecox