The Mineola Lady Jackets overcame an early deficit to win their first district game last Tuesday against the visiting Grand Saline Lady Indians 61-51.
Sophomore point guard Sabria Dean was easily the best player on the court as she finished with a game high 26 points and team high 12 rebounds.
The Lady Indians came out on fire as they raced out to a 7-2 start less than three minutes into the game. Grand Saline was led during the first quarter by Brooklyn Bolin who had eight early points hitting two three pointers. However the Lady Jackets rallied late in the first frame cut Grand Saline’s lead to just two at 15-13.
Sophomore forward Jessiah Riley, who finished with 13 points and seven rebound, scored a layup while being fouled then made the ensuing free-throw giving Mineola its first lead of the game at 19-17. In the first quarter Mineola played on their heels and seemed a bit out of rhythm, however in the second quarter roles reversed as Grand Saline was the team struggling to score on offense as Mineola had a 7-0 run of their own to start the second quarter. Mineola then took a 27-20 lead midway through the second quarter. Mineola finished the first half leading 32-27.
Bolin led all first half scorers with 13 points.
The third quarter then became a mirror image of the second quarter as Mineola again raced out early to a 48-39 lead by the end of the third quarter. Dean scored eight points in the quarter forcing Grand Saline to double team the sophomore point guard essentially every time she touched the ball. In the third quarter the Lady Indians used a 1-2-2 trapping zone defense to try and slow down Dean after getting off to a hot start but the effort wouldn’t be for not as Dean found Riley open in the lane and dished two fantastic assists to Tahjae Black for easy layups as well.
In the fourth quarter Grand Saline responded as they cut the Mineola lead to two with three minutes left in the game. Riley then made a layup with less than two minutes to go in the game pushing Mineola’s lead back to four. Cyndi Butler also came up huge in the fourth quarter as she hit her only shot of the game with just under 40 second left and Riley hit another layup plus the foul to earn the Lady Jackets first double digit lead in the game.
The Lady Jackets went on to win by 10 points. Black finished with six points and six rebounds, Tiara Stephens finished with four points and eight rebounds and Vanessa Spurgeon finished with four points.