The Quitman Lady Bulldogs fell to the Grand Saline Lady Indians 51-43 in action at Grand Saline on Jan. 22. The Lady Bulldogs managed two significant comebacks, but were missing consistent play down the stretch.
The first quarter was highlighted by good ball movement and a strong Quitman defensive effort. Ava Burroughs got the visitors on the board first with a strong inside move. Madalyn Spears promptly stole the ball and converted a breakaway to give the Lady Bulldogs a 4–0 start.
An evenly match first quarter of play saw the score notched at 8, when Grand Saline hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to take an 8–11 lead at the quarter break. What began as a game of basketball skill demonstrated by both squads became a bit of a brawl in the second quarter.
Quitman managed just four points in the second quarter while the Grand Saline poured in 12. After Maddy Whitehurst evened the score at 11 with a beautiful three-point shot, the Lady Indians forced three consecutive turnovers with their press and converted after each. A 3-pointer just before half gave Grand Saline a 12–23 lead at intermission.
Quitman dominated play through much of the third quarter. Two inside buckets by Burroughs, a 3-pointer from Shelby Hayes, and offensive rebound put-backs from Spears and Whitehurst put the Lady Bulldogs up 26–23 with three minutes to play in the quarter. It was simply a great effort by the Lady Bulldogs coming out after halftime.
The last three minutes of the quarter, however, belonged to Grand Saline. Taking advantage of four trips to the free throw line, the Lady Indians built a six-point advantage going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs fought hard and strong efforts from Spears and Hayes kept the game close, with a Hayes’s triple putting Quitman up 41–40 with just over a minute to play. In the end it was the composure of Grand Saline that made the difference. They hit seven of eight free throw attempts down the stretch.
The Lady Bulldogs could take a lot of positives out of the game. Their zone defense was locked in most of the night, and they won the rebounding battle 30–23. Effort never lagged, and the team fought to the buzzer. They were over the course of the night undone, however, by 22 turnovers, many of which were against the Lady Indian press.