A big win helps to get you out of a skid, and that’s exactly what the Lady Tigers of Festus did this week, following a tough run in the Annual Christmas Tournament. They managed to bounce right back with a convincing W over DeSoto to kick off the new year with a victory, but stumbled shortly after, falling to Mehlville in their final game of the week.
The game against DeSoto that got the Tigers back on the winning track was a good one, but started out slow. The offense took a bit to get going in the first, but the defense was solid, and that would be a theme throughout the game. Josie Allen, Ciara McDonald and Delaney Schmitt all hit three-pointers in the quarter and the Tigers had themselves an 11-5 lead.
The second was more of the same offensively, with Festus scoring eight and the Trojans putting up five again, but the Tigers held a comfortable 19-10 first half lead.
After the break, the offensive worm turned. The Tigers woke up and dropped 19 points on the Dragons in the third quarter, with Allen leading the way with eight points on four buckets. Potosi was held to just four and Festus took a commanding 38-14 lead into the final frame. They tacked on 11 more in the fourth and held the Dragons to a game-low four to nail the coffin shut in the 49-19 win.
Allen led the way with her fourth consecutive game of 18 points and Alyzah Scaggs had 13 on 50% shooting, marking the only players in the game in double figures. Allen also had an amazing 11 steals, while McDonald totaled five points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Head Coach Steve McFarland commented on the game, saying, “Great defensive effort. Offensively we started slow, but came out the third quarter and turned several turnovers into points.”
That they did, and it sent the young ladies to Mehlville to take on the Panthers. This one would not be as fortuitous in the first quarter as the last match, with the Tigers getting outscored 21-12 despite six points from McDonald.
The second was a little closer with Festus putting up 13 to the Panthers’ 16, but the road team was still staring at a 37-25 halftime deficit.
The Tigers closed down a bit better defensively in the third quarter, allowing just 12 points to Mehlville, but were only able to muster 11 of their own. However, that effort set up a valiant comeback attempt in the fourth quarter, where the Tigers were relentless on defense and charged the net like a bull in a china shop.
They made their bones at the line with nine points off of free-throws, including five from Allen alone, and managed to hold the Panthers to just five total points in the final frame. Still, the effort came up just short due to the sizable hole that has been dug in the first three quarters. Festus fell 54-47, but it was an impressive and gutsy attempt to turn things around late.
McDonald led the way in this one with a double-double, coming down with 12 boards and tying for the team lead in points with 15. She also had three assists and a pair of steals. Allen shared the point lead with 15 of her own and chipped in with three steals to boot.
The win was dominant and the loss was tough, but the Tigers showed resolve. With their overall record now sitting at 7-6, they will look to build some momentum based on that next week as they host Seckman on Monday.