After a sluggish start, Monument/Dayville shut down the Ukiah/Long Creek Lady Mountain Lions in the fourth quarter for a 21-20 win on Tuesday, Jan. 16, in Dayville.
Neither team found the basket in the first quarter, but Ukiah/Long Creek gained footing in the second.
Mountain Lions Dortha Johnson and Jenny Kim each sank a basket. Then Kim went 2-2 at the free-throw line.
Tiger Denali Twehues got on the board, shooting two 2-pointers.
Ukiah/Long Creek’s Lucchese “Casey” Douglas made it 8-4, and Twehues attempted to score at the buzzer, after an interception, but the shot didn’t make it in.
“We weren’t playing very aggressively in the first half, and not boxing out,” said Tiger head coach Taylor Schmadeka. “In the second half, we picked it up and played our game. We were doing the small things right.”
After the Mountain Lions outshot the Tigers 12-10 in the third, Monument/Dayville buckled down on defense.
In the final minutes of the fourth, Ukiah/Long Creek was unable to cash in on a jump ball and a couple steals, while the Tigers scored 7 for the nail-biter win.
Ukiah/Long Creek coach TC Conner said his team started slow but picked it up and played some good defense. At the end, he said, there was some “anxious passing.”
“You can’t stop and look at the scoreboard — then you start getting anxious,” he said. “They fought to the end.”
He added, “They were tired, but they all wanted to get back in.”
Ukiah/Long Creek junior Gladys Johnson said it was a great game.
“We played our best and worked with each other,” she said.
Schmadeka said he was happy the with how his team battled.
“I’m proud of the girls for fighting for all the loose balls at the end of the game, bouncing back and coming out with the 1-point win,” he said.
Tiger Miranda Cook said the competition Ukiah/Long Creek gave them made it a fun game.
“They were better than I thought they were going to be,” she said.
Tiger Aubrey Werner added she was pleased with her team’s passing and rebounding.
Her teammate Sam Adams said the game would be memorable mainly because she caught the flu, but added, “I was panicking with the scoreboard so tight, but I’m happy that we pulled it together as a team and managed to become one.”