Savannah Stringfellow made a big 3-pointer with just over 3 minutes left, and Navasota escaped A&M Consolidated with a 53-45 win after squandering a 10-point lead in the third quarter on Tuesday night in nondistrict girls basketball action at Tiger Gym.
Both teams showed some rust in the early season matchup, but the Lady Rattlers (2-0) had the edge while pushing the tempo and building a 36-26 lead with 3:18 remaining in the third quarter.
"We played a week ago, and so we've had four pretty good days of practice, and we looked better tonight that we did last week," Navasota coach Tommy Gates said. "This was a good win for us playing a well-coached team like them, and they are. They're very, very well coached. This was a good win for us, especially Game 2."
Momentum started to shift the Lady Tigers' way when My'Yona Strange scored from the paint to cut Navasota's lead to 36-28. Consol (4-4) got a steal on the resulting inbound pass, and Mariya Scott scored to get Consol within six points.
The Lady Rattlers pushed their lead back to eight on a basket by Sha'Diamon King, but that was their last points of the period.
Jessica Ransom made a pair of free throws. Darby Hurley converted a Navasota turnover into a bucket with 58 seconds left, and Taylor Coleman's jumper from just inside the free throw line got Consol within 38-36 with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.
The momentum carried into the fourth as Scott made Consol's only 3-pointer of the game 50 seconds into the quarter for a 39-38 lead.
"It was good to see the girls compete and stay in it and not get their heads down," Consol coach Wendy Hines said. "There's just some things we've got to finish. We missed some chippies down low, several of those that I wish we had back, so we could put those away, but it's just little things. It is early November, but we've got to do a little better with shot selection and finishing."
Scott's 3-pointer was Consol's last field goal of the game, and a Stringfellow free throw and Amya Thomas layup put the Lady Rattlers back in front with 6:15 left.
While the Lady Tigers struggled to make baskets, Navasota gave them chances at the free-throw line down the stretch. A 4-for-4 run by Cierra Gilbert and Scott gave Consol a 43-41 lead with 3:55 left.
Consol took advantage of a bevy of Navasota fouls while making 18 of 27 (66.7 percent) free throws.
"We have been struggling at the free-throw line in the tournament we just had and previously," Hines said. "It was good to see that we did put the ball in the hole from the free-throw line. We've got to do that more often and make sure that we don't leave any points on the line."
Navasota wasn't far behind making 15 of 26 (57.7 percent) from the line, two of which by Thomas tied it at 43 with 3:10 left. Stringfellow made her big 3-pointer just 7 seconds later to give the Lady Rattlers the lead for good.
A pair of free throws by Ransom cut the lead to 46-45 with 2:13 remaining, but a layup by Ke'aundra Eddings made it a three-point game again, and Navasota close it out on a 7-0 run.
"Our kids kept their composure," Gates said. "I've got eight returning players from a team that won 34 games last year, but a lot of them played volleyball. Because [the volleyball team] made the playoffs, they've only been out for basketball for two weeks. We're not in basketball shape, and everything is kind of coming to them. We've got five games in the next four days, so this time next week maybe we'll be a little better."
It was a strong finish for Eddings, who missed a portion of the fourth quarter because of cramps. She scored a game-high 16 points.
Navasota's Malaiya Jedkins scored most of her 13 points in the first half as the Lady Rattlers led 13-9 at the end of the first quarter and recovered from a Consol rally to take a 28-22 advantage into the break.
The Lady Tigers used a 9-1 run, including five points by Hurley, to rally from a 17-9 deficit and tie it at 18 with 4:10 left in the second.
After a Navasota free throw, a Coleman bucket gave Consol a 20-19 lead. A basket by King and four points by Jedkins put the Lady Rattlers back in front, and Eddings made a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer for a six-point lead.
Hurley and Ransom each finished with 11 points for the Lady Tigers, while Scott had nine.
Navasota will get its first tournament action when it competes in the Rice Consol Invitational starting Thursday. Consol will host Conroe on Friday.
Navasota 53, A&M Consolidated 45
(Numbers after names are field goals made, free throws attempted-made, points.)
NAVASOTA (2-0) -- Tynasia Mock 0 2-2 2; Ke'aundra Eddings 6 3-6 16; Amya Thomas 2 5-6 7; Shanquisha Curley 1 0-0 2; Kaliah Bookman 1 0-2 2; Alyssia Thomas 0 1-4 1; Savannah Stringfellow 1 1-2 4; Malaiya Jedkins 5 3-4 13; Sha'Diamon King 2 0-0 4. TOTALS: 18 15-26 53.
CONSOL (4-4) -- Jessica Ransom 1 9-10 11; Mariya Scott 2 4-4 9; Victoria Sheffield 0 0-2 0; Darby Hurley 4 3-4 11; My'Yona Strange 1 0-2 2; Cierra Gilbert 3 0-3 6; Taylor Coleman 2 2-2 6. TOTALS: 13 18-27 45.
Navasota 13 15 10 15 -- 53
A&M Consolidated 9 13 14 9 -- 45
JV: Navasota 46-41 (CONSOL -- Raven Gooden 17, Amber Daniel 14)
Freshman: Navasota 39-37 (CONSOL -- Tya Rodgers 24)