Rudder girls basketball team uses key third-quarter run to beat A&M Consolidated

Rudder's Amia Norman, right passes the ball while being pressured by A&M Consolidated's Darby Hurley in the third quarter Friday at The Armory.

Eagle photo by Laura McKenzie

The A&M Consolidated girls basketball team didn't take advantage of opportunities when it got them, and Rudder extended its lead early in the second half to hold off the Lady Tigers in District 18-5A play Friday night at The Armory.

Consol overcame a turnover-heavy first quarter to keep Rudder within reach at the break before a 7-0 Lady Ranger run in the third put some distance between the teams.

"Every time they made a run, I felt like we made a run right back at them," Rudder coach John Shelton said. "They never quit. We knew that going in. They always play us hard every time we play them, and I felt we were lucky to get out with the win like we did."

The Lady Tigers (11-14, 3-3) lost six turnovers in the first 4 minutes of the game and nine total in the first quarter as the Lady Rangers (15-9, 4-2) jumped to a 9-2 advantage and led 16-7 going into the second quarter.

The turnover table flipped in the second quarter as Rudder lost nine to Consol's one, but the Lady Rangers still managed to maintain a 26-17 lead with 4:06 to go in the half.

That's when those missed opportunities started showing up for the Lady Tigers as they outscored Rudder 6-2 over the next 3 minutes to close the gap to 28-23 but went 0 for 5 from the free-throw line to keep them from getting much closer.

"We created the opportunities," Consol coach Wendy Hines said. "I tell them on a daily basis, 'If you're going to do the work, get paid.' And getting paid is making your baskets, whether it's free throws or layups or whatever it is. I think we did the work -- we just didn't pay ourselves."

Victoria Sheffield opened the second half with a basket just under a minute in to get Consol within 30-25, but there would be no repeat of the furious third quarter that helped the Lady Tigers get past Waco University a week ago.

This time the Lady Rangers took advantage of miscues by the Lady Tigers.

Deondra Young made four free throws and a basket in the next 3 minutes, and Keaundra Kelly capped an 8-0 run and stretched the advantage to 13 with a layup with 3:53 left in the third.

Consol mustered some back-and-forth points to keep the margin the same until a putback by Kelly and two more free throws by Young in the final minute gave Rudder a 49-32 lead entering the fourth.

"That's important for us because most teams after halftime -- they've had the halftime talk and they're really motivated to come back and play hard," Shelton said. "I told them they're going to come back at us. They're going to be back at us the whole time, and they did. And we were able to answer it when they did come back at us."

A pair of 3-pointers by Lauren Peters in the fourth weren't enough for the Lady Tigers to make a serious run, while Rudder scored 11 of its 17 points in the period at the free-throw line.

The Lady Rangers made 22 of 33 foul shots overall, while Consol made just 6 of 15.

"We didn't lose this game because of the referees. I can't say that," Hines said. "But a team does not go 16 minutes with four fouls [in the second half]. That's unbelievable to me. We lost it. I'll take responsibility for that. But it's very frustrating."

Nearly all of the Lady Tigers' 19 turnovers came in the first and third quarters while Rudder finished with 23, many of which Shelton said were unforced.

Young's 23 points and 11 rebounds helped the Lady Rangers outrebound Consol 44-43. Kelly had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Jatavia Young had seven points and seven rebounds. Tianna Mathis scored 18 points.

Mariya Scott paced the Lady Tigers with 11 points, while Cierra Gilbert had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Raven Gooden pulled down eight boards.

Consol will try to get back on track Tuesday at Waco as Rudder is open that day. The Lady Rangers host Waco next Friday.

Rudder 66, A&M Consolidated 49

CONSOL (11-14, 3-3 ) -- Tya Rogers 0 0-3 0, Raven Gooden 1 1-2 3, Lauren Peters 2 0-0 6, Jessica Ransom 1 2-4 4, Mariya Scott 4 2-2 11, Victoria Sheffield 2 0-0 4, Darby Hurley 3 0-0 6, Cierra Gilbert 5 0-1 10, Taylor Colemon 2 1-3 5. TOTALS: 20 6-15 49.

RUDDER (15-9, 4-2) -- Aliyah Johnson 1 0-0 2, Amia Norman 1 1-2 3, Tianna Mathis 5 8-14 18, Jatavia Young 2 3-5 7, Keaundra Kelly 5 0-0 10, Deondra Young 8 7-8 23, Zaria Richards 0 3-4 3. TOTALS: 22 22-33 66.

A&M Consolidated 7 16 9 17 -- 49

Rudder 16 14 19 17 -- 66

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