Submitted by TSB Community
The McKinney Christian Academy Lady Mustangs played brilliantly in the first half of their Bland Tourney Championship game in building a 29-19 lead over the Leonard Tigers, but failed to finish their quest for the first place trophy, falling to the Tigers 42-38 Saturday. The Mustangs got to the championship game by defeating Campbell and then the host Bland in impressive fashion. They started out against the Tigers like they were ready to run over Leonard as well. Leonard, the defending tourney champs who returned all three of the all tourney members from last years championship team, decided at the half they weren’t so ready to give it up.
The Mustangs came out in the first quarter like gangbusters with 17 first quarter points led by sophomore point Julie James with nine points and freshman forward Hannah Wilks with eight. James took senior Kaitlynn McAdams opening tip off of a pass from Wilks and drove for the initial basket. McAdams followed with a bank shot from the right side and Wilks drove the right lane from the highpost, and the Mustangs were in fine form. The Tigers countered with three treys in the opening stanza, two by K. Blackburn, to stay close at 17-13.
The Mustangs got off and running in the second with James hitting Wilks, junior Sarah Grubbs, and sophomore Kaycie Zanetell for long passes and layups as the Mustangs had no trouble with the Tigers press. MCA attempted to tighten the defense and did hold the Tigers to 6 points, 3 of which came on another 3 by Blackburn. When senior Sid Thompson scored from the left baseline and Wilks hit a put-back at the buzzer, it was 29-19 at the intermission and the Mustangs had everything going their way.
The Mustangs need be mindful that they be known as the March Mustangs, those who come in like lions and go out like lambs. Unlike the last few games where the Mustangs came out for the third with a bang, Saturday it was more like a whimper. MCA managed only 5 points in the period on a layup by James, another put-back and then one of two freethrows by Wilks. The defense was adequate, however, allowing only two field goals by the Tigers, but the Tigers began to set up residence at the free throw line, hitting 4 of 8 free throws, something that was a harbinger of things to come. Nonetheless, the Mustangs were still in control at 34-27 after three quarters and the big trophy was in sight .
Perhaps it was the fatigue of the three games or it was the increased pressure by the Lady Tigers, but in any event the 8-1 Mustangs revealed a few chinks in their armour in letting the championship go in the 4th, being outscored 15-4. Again the Mustangs allowed only two field goals, but one was another three. More damaging, though was the Leonard Tiger parade to the free throw line as they proceded to make 10 of 11 freethrows , effectively the margin of victory. The Mustangs could only manage a basket by James and a 12 footer by Grubbs as they turned the ball over frequently and were unable to work for quality shots.
Wilks led the Mustangs with 17 points and added 6 boards. James had 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. The Mustangs leading scorer, McAdams did not score after the opening basket, but led with 11 rebounds and four blocks. Grubbs had four points, five rebounds, three assists and completely shut out T. Bishop her high scoring defensive assignment. Thompson and Zanetell each ended with two points.
By Quarters 1 2 H 3 4 Final
MCA 17 12 29 5 4 38
LHS 13 6 19 8 15 42