The Mineola Lady Jackets completed their regular season with a convincing 43-26 victory over the visiting Quitman Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
As was the case in the previous match-up earlier this season, the Mineola full court press made all the difference in the game. The Lady Jackets forced 19 turnovers in the first half and converted most to scores.
The Lady Bulldogs aggressively attempted to foil the press through crisp passing into center court. This tactic worked initially, but Mineola countered by pressing higher into mid-court. The first quarter saw six Lady Jackets on the scoresheet.
Action at the quarter break defined the flow of the game. Lady Jacket stand-out Sabria Dean provided an assist to Jaiden Gardner to make the score 14-4 at the end of the first.
In opening moments of the second quarter Dean provided another assist, this time to Tiara Stephens. Dean then hit a nice 3-pointer to make the score 19-4. The margin had been set.
Successive points off turnovers built a 24 point lead, 30-6, heading into halftime. Of significant note were the three assists rendered by Dean in early action and the contributions by Alyssa Cannon in the second quarter.
Hopes of a comeback by Quitman were dashed by early turnovers at commencement of second half action. There was opportunity however, as the Lady Jackets became stagnant on the offensive end. Mineola Head Coach Tony Riley signaled a timeout to correct the state of play. Dean hit Riley inside for a short basket to make the score 33-8.
The third quarter drew to a close with the Lady Jackets up, 35-13. The game was decided. Quitman was doomed by 28 turnovers through three quarters. Lady Jackets Meghan Brewington and Jaiden Gardner made notable contributions in the final quarter. Following much loose fourth quarter action, Mineola secured a 43-26 win.
The Lady Jackets played their bidistrict game, Monday Feb. 11 at North Forney High School. The Lady Bulldogs will build on a solid competitive year and look to reverse their basketball fortunes in 2019-20.