Shelbyville Lady Dragons defeat Tenaha, advance to playoff action on Monday

Shelbyville to play Cushing at Angelina College in Lufkin

The Lady Dragons will play their first playoff basketball game at 6 p.m, Monday, Feb 17 at Angelina College against Cushing.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for student and senior citizens. Officials said all district passes will be accepted.

The scheduled playoff game came after a rainy Tuesday night, when the Tenaha Lady Tigers travelled to Shelbyville to face off against the Lady Dragons. Shelbyville entered this contest with nothing to lose, as they had already secured the third-place seed behind state ranked Woden and Timpson.

Despite securing their spot in the playoffs, the Lady Dragons wanted to end district with a win.

The Lady Tigers needed a win to secure a playoff spot of their own. They

Before tipoff, Shelbyville celebrated their three seniors, JaKaitlon Bolton, MicKenzie Murry, and Taniya Barnes. Getting a win for the seniors certainly added pressure for the Lady Dragons.

Tenaha’s Jonisha Thompson squared up with Shelbyville’s Kiana Bennett for the opening tip. The Lady Dragons would end up with possession of the ball first. Despite that advantage, Shelbyville found themselves down 5-0. The first bucket was scored by Jasmine Dodd on a layup, and the second came from beyond the three-point line from her twin sister Alisa Dodd.

The Lady Dragons adjusted quickly. Bennett added three points after pump faking to displace a defender. Shelbyville would end the quarter with a 10-8 lead.

The Lady Tigers struggled early in the second quarter, but excellent play late in the period from Jonisha Thompson and Kamari Gray kept the Lady Tigers within three. By the 3:00 mark, Shelbyville had amassed a 23-13-point lead, but by halftime the Lady Tigers had trimmed the Lady Dragons lead to 24-21.

Brooke Elliott of Shelbyville kicked off the scoring in the second half of play with a deep ball from three-point territory. However, the Lady Tiger’s tight defensive front kept things close.

Tenaha was tenacious throughout this one, but Elliott of Shelbyville turned in a monster game from beyond the arch giving the Lady Dragons the boost they needed to seal the deal. Elliott ended the night with 24 points, all from beyond the three-point line. That’s an impressive eight three-pointers on the night, three of which were posted in the fourth period.

“It was my team,” said Elliott. “I wouldn’t have had them if they hadn’t set me up. It was crazy. I really have no words. I’m glad everyone pulled together. We came out good in the end. We were off a little bit in the beginning, but we pulled it together.”

“They had a lot to play for,” said Shelbyville Girls’ Basketball Coach Leland Hand. “It was one of those trap-games for us, we’d already sewn up third, and I was worried about us being ready to go. They had everything to play for, and we really didn’t. I thought late in the game we pulled them out of their zone really well, they do a great job in their 1-3-1, but we brought them out, and you could tell. We were able to get a lot of easy buckets late and take care of the ball really well.”

Looking forward to the playoffs, Coach Hand feels like the Lady Dragons are in a good spot.

“We know we’re right there, it’s just our district was so good with state ranked teams [Woden and Timpson]. We’ve got to take care of business. I’d love to have the opportunity to play one of our district teams again.”

Tenaha’s playoff situation is a bit murkier after this loss. They are in a tight race with the San Augustine Lady Wolves for the fourth and final playoff spot. One team will be in, while the other sits just outside of playoff contention.

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