Shelbyville Lady Dragons edge Tenaha Lady Tigers, 51-45
District play is now officially at the halfway point for the girls of 2A District 22. At this point in district
action, each team has met for the first of their two scheduled matchups. The Tenaha Lady Tigers played
host to the Shelbyville Lady Dragons to close out the first half of their district schedules.
Kioja Gates of Shelbyville won the opening tip for the Lady Dragons. Shortly after, Brooke Elliott put the
Lady Dragons on the scoreboard first with a three-point shot. Kamari Gray of Tenaha answered with a
mid-range jumper to put the score within one. Defense was tight on both sides, but with 3:30 on the
clock in the first Tenaha pulled ahead with two Jasmine Dodd free throws. After trading the lead once
more the score at the end of the first period was in the books at 6-5, Tenaha.
Early in the second, both teams retained the tight defense showcased in the first quarter. Tenaha’s zone
defense presented few holes for the Lady Dragons to exploit, so they resorted to shots from beyond the
three-point line. Unfortunately, Shelbyville was unable to get their shots to fall. Gates was able to take
the lead back with back to back shots from the paint. Shelbyville would go up 12-6, but a late run by the
Lady Tigers tied the game at 12. After trading a couple of buckets, the score at the half was 14-14.
Jakaitlin Bolton of Shelbyville scored first in the second half of play with a deep two-point shot. Kiana
Bennett showed up in a big way for the Lady Dragons. By the end of the third period she added 10
points to Shelbyville’s total. Six of those points came from the charity line. Gates added two more
buckets to her total.
“There are times that [Gates] will have good games, and tonight we needed her to step up, because
[Tenaha] is a very athletic team. She had a very good game for us,” said Shelbyville Girls’ Head
Basketball Coach Leland Hand.
Shelbyville’s 10-point lead following the third period wouldn’t hold through the fourth, as the Lady
Tigers outscored the Lady Dragons 21-17. Despite making things interesting late, Tenaha would fall 51-
45 to Shelbyville.
“We were resilient, obviously. We didn’t play very well. We try to pride ourselves on our defense. We
put a lot into the defense this week. We just couldn’t score tonight,” Coach Hand said.
Despite Coach Hand’s belief that the Lady Dragons suffered an off night, any victory, even an ugly one, is
a welcomed event. Look for Shelbyville to make efforts to clean up their game to finish district strong.
Leading the charge for the Lady Dragons was Brooke Elliott, who ended the night with an 18-point total.
Kiana Bennett finished the game with 15 points, all of which took place in the second half of play. Kioja
Gates wasn’t far behind with 13 points.
On the Tenaha side of the court, Anali Giles put up a 14-point total, Kamari Gray contributed 10 points,
and Lucy Giles added six.