Lady Tigers lose big lead, fall to Phoenix

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“They played and competed all the way down to the end,” Adairsville coach Lee Whitaker said. “Even down here at the end of the basketball game, they were still trying to hang on and win and I really can’t ask anything more of them.”

Josie Summerville scored 22 points and collected eight rebounds for the Lady Tigers (7-17, 2-10), and her free throw with 4:37 left in the game gave Adairsville its last lead of the game at 38-37.

Sonoraville’s Sandi McMullin scored on the next possession to take a 39-38 advantage, and the Lady Tigers never pulled even again.

Adairsville got off to a great start, running Sonoraville ragged out of the gates to take a 21-8 lead after the first quarter. Summerville scored the first six points of the game for the Lady Tigers and finished with 10 in the quarter, but it was a real team effort as Adairsville applied pressure and got out on the break to score easy baskets.

Adairsville’s high-flying offense slowed all the way down in the second quarter, as baskets by Emily Collum and Nakiyah Washington and a lone free throw by Latya Printup were all it could manage.

“They did a really good job of doubling [Summerville] up,” Whitaker said. “As soon as the ball went down in the post, they really dropped two on her, after the first quarter.”

The defensive effort was still there, though, and Adairsville went into halftime leading 26-15 after allowing just seven points in the quarter.

With an 11-point lead at halftime, Adairsville looked poised to collect a big win. However, thoughts of coasting to the finish line fell apart in the third quarter.

Sonoraville’s Cortney Williams hit two 3s and scored 10 points in the quarter, and the Lady Tigers were again held to five points in a quarter, this time on two baskets by Summerville and a free throw by Washington.

“I think [as far as] keeping and maintaining the intensity level for the whole game out there, our girls just kind of hit a wall,” Whitaker said.

After their third-quarter effort trimmed the lead to one point, Sonoraville entered the fourth with momentum, and took advantage.

Grace Darnell’s 3-pointer for the Lady Phoenix with 4:48 left tied it at 37, and after Summerville made 1-of-2 free throws on the other end, McMullin scored her go-ahead bucket.

Adairsville fought down the stretch, with Summerville scoring eight points in the quarter and Washington adding six, but Darnell went 8-for-8 on free throws late to seal it for Sonoraville.

Washington had 13 points and five rebounds for Adairsville.

The Lady Tigers play next on Friday, as they finish up their regular season at Coahulla Creek, with the game tipping off at 7 p.m.