By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun
When they look at the film of this one they will want to burn it.
One shot, just one shot at any time in the third or fourth quarter and ...
It’s a bit painful to look at for the Corsicana Lady Tigers, who fell to Lindale 44-42 Tuesday night at home in a crucial District 16-4A game that makes the second half stretch run that much closer, that much tighter — just like Tuesday’s game.
“No one said it would be easy,’’ said Corsicana girls Coach Art Prevost, who has turned the program around. “We had our chances. At the end of the game we had opportunities, two, three chances.’’
In the final seconds, down 44-42, Kennady Betts had a wide-open 3 and missed. Ericka Melendez grabbed the rebound but couldn’t put it back, and finally, Alexis Baston missed a shot.
That’s how it ended, this furious comeback that was ignited by ShaSha Taylor’s defense and Destini Lunsford’s fight to the basket as Corsicana, which trailed 39-29 with 5:30 left in the game, stormed back to outscore Lindale 12-2 and knotted the score at 41 with 2:49 when Taylor made a steal and a coast-to-coast drive.
That play came just a handful of seconds after Taylor had made a steal and missed the lay-up at the end of her drive. But Lunsford was there to clean up the rebound, and she made the put-back and a free throw for an an-one play that highlighted a 8-0 run that included three steals by Taylor.
Lunsford hit an outside shot to close to 41-36, then Taylor had three consecutive steals. She hit the first drive, Lunsford cashed in on her an-one play on the second drive and then Taylor tied it at 41-41 with her hat-trick theft act.
But Lindale, which led most of the night stole the momentum right back when Paige Murphy hit a 3 at the other end with 1:40 left to pull ahead 44-41 and Lunsford, who scored eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter, fouled out with 22 seconds left.
It was a tough night for Corsicana, which was tied for first place in the district race with Tyler at 4-0 before losing on the road at Tyler on Friday. Tuesday’s loss leaves the Lady Tigers at 3-2 and tied for second place with Lindale.
Lunsford led the way and Ariel Bartee made three treys and finished with nine points. Taylor had seven points, Baston and Betts scored five each. Briana Biltz (2) and Melendez (1) also scored for Corsicana.
Lindale was led by 6-1 post Natasha Malone, who scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first nine minutes of the game to give Lindale its early lead. Malone went 5-of-7 from the floor and made all four of her free throws and finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
The Lady Tigers, who forced 28 turnovers, could have won easily if they had just found the basket in the third quarter. They were down 24-21 at halftime, but made only one basket in the third quarter — a 3-pointer by Taylor — and one free throw and entered the fourth down 35-25.
“We just missed too many shots,’’ Prevost. “We needed to make shots and we didn’t. We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. We didn’t knock down shots. But we’ll bounce back.’’