Lady Jackets comeback falls just short in home opener

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In a game that saw the Mineola Lady Jackets down by as many as 19 points in the second half against the Lone Oak Lady Buffaloes a furious comeback was not enough to hold off Lone Oak as the Mineola girls lost at the buzzer 48-46.

With just over three seconds left the Lady Jackets seemed to have stolen a victory as Mehgan Brewington put back an offensive rebound to put Mineola up 46-45. However Lone Oak’s prayers were answered when their team hit a thre- pointer that swished in just as the buzzer sounded.

Mineola Head Coach Tony Riley said he learned a lot of positive things about his team through last week’s loss.

“The second half comeback showed my team’s fight and heart to not give up. They kept scratching, fighting and played hard until the very end. The outcome just didn’t play in our favor. I felt like when we played aggressively on our press and it caused Lone Oak to play faster than they normally do. It caused them to turn the ball over which got us back in the game,” Riley said.

The game was a tale of two halves as both teams exchanged blows in a back-an- forth affair that didn’t see much scoring. Both teams used their pressure defense to turn the other offense over and both offenses struggled because of that. The first quarter ended with an 11-5 Lone Oak lead.

Lone Oak dominated the second quarter with offensive rebounding and hot shooting as they stopped pressing Mineola and instead used a half court 1-2-2 zone defense limiting Mineola’s inside opportunities. Lone Oak took a 32-15 lead in to the halftime break.

In the third quarter Lone Oak struck first as they earned their biggest lead of the game at 34-15, however that lead would grow no more as Mineola began to slowly chip away.

Freshman Tahjae Black had a huge third quarter as she scored six of her eight points in the period. Black finished the game with eight points, three rebounds and three steals. Jessiah Riley also had a great performance in the third quarter as she wrangled in multiple offensive rebounds giving the Lady Jackets extra possessions, something Lone Oak had been doing in the first half. Riley finished with nine points nine rebounds, a steal and an assist.

With six minutes left in the game the Lady Buffaloes’ lead was only seven after Riley’s steal and coast to coast layup. The fourth quarter belonged to sophomore point guard Mehgan Brewington. She scored the last eight points for Mineola and ended with a team high11 points, added two rebounds and two steals. Brewington hit two huge three pointers, one at the two minute mark to cut the lead to four at 37-41 and another at the 30 second mark to cut the lead to one at 44-45. Brewington then hit a short jumper with just less than four seconds to go giving Mineola a 46-45 lead.

While the Lady Jackets were unable to win this game Riley says a little more offensive execution will go a long way towards Mineola winning games like this one later in the season.

“We are going to continue to work on our offense which wasn’t very good last (week) and continue (to) improve on our defense,” Riley said.

Mineola was playing without arguably their best player sophomore forward Sabria Dean who was sidelined due to injury. Dean is expected to play this week and should give the Lady Jackets the offensive attack they’ll need going forward.

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