Heading in to last Monday’s game the Mineola Lady Jackets were 0-3 and were desperately looking for their first win. In their home opening game the Jackets were down big early, came storming back just to fall short at the buzzer. However on Monday the Lady Jackets did not allow themselves to get behind early as they earned a wire-to-wire 41-32 victory over the North Lamar Panthers.
The Lady Jackets came out scorching hot from the opening tip as they went on a 13-0 run early in the first quarter. The Jackets deployed their full court 1-2-2 defense that bothered the Panthers most of the first quarter forcing multiple turnovers. The Lady Jackets full court defense was so stifling that the Panther didn’t score their first points of the game until the 3:21 mark of the first quarter. Mineola would hold a 13-3 lead at the end of first quarter, Mineola’s point guard Sabria Dean had six points in the quarter to lead Mineola.
While the first quarter was a very lopsided affair in favor of Mineola, the Panthers responded well in the second as they outscored the Lady Jackets 8-7. The second quarter was played more in the half court as opposed to the fast paced first quarter that Mineola thrived in. The Panthers were able to use their size to get the ball into their post players for good opportunities at the rim. With the Panther not turning the ball over in the second quarter they were also able to set up in a 3-2 zone that Mineola struggled to score against as many of their outside shots were not falling. At the half Mineola lead 20-11.
In the third quarter the Lady Jackets outside shooting got going as both Kelsey Brewington and Vanessa Spurgeon hit three point shots against the Panthers 3-2 zone. However, the third quarter scoring saw neither team gain ground on the other as Mineola still led by nine heading into the fourth
The fourth quarter was somewhat similar to the third as both teams traded blows, each scoring nine points in the final quarter. But no play was more impressive than the play made by Dean with just under a minute to go in the game. The point guard received an inbounds pass, proceeded to split two defenders and drove down the lane but just as it looked like she was going to score three panther defenders converged on her and she then threw a behind-the-back pass to Tiara Stephens who scored a layup. The play made all the Mineola fans rise to their feet and effectively ended the game.
The following day the Lady Jackets beat Big Sandy 57-26.
Jessiah Riley led in scoring with 13 points seven rebounds and four steals. Meghan Brewington added 11 points, while Tahjae Black nearly had a double-double with nine points and seven rebounds.