Lady Tigers stun Douglass in Bi-District Round
The Tenaha Lady Tigers entered the playoffs with the disadvantage of being the fourth seed from 2A District 22.
This means that they had to face the District 21-2A Champion Douglass Lady Indians. Douglass entered this matchup ranked No. 7 in the state.
The deck was stacked against the Lady Tigers heading into this one. Ultimately, the Lady Indians would meet their match in the Tenaha Lady Tigers.
Tenaha’s first quarter of play was definitely rough on the Lady Tigers. Turnovers handcuffed their offensive production. The Lady Tigers were only able to put three points on the board for the entirety of the first quarter. Tenaha’s Kamari Gray was responsible for the lone three-point basket. After one quarter of play, the Lady Tigers trailed Douglass 10-3.
It would have been very easy for Tenaha’s athletes to get inside their own heads after that tough quarter, but the Lady Tigers proved themselves to be made of stronger stuff. Gray took possession of the basketball on an early fast break and laid the ball in for two points to kick things off in the second. Shortly thereafter, Kia Suell knocked down a three from the top of the key to cut Douglass’ lead to two. Tenaha outscored Douglass in the second quarter 13-7 and trimmed the Douglass lead to one point heading into halftime.
Following halftime, the Lady Tigers were outscored by a margin of 10-8 making the new score 27-24. Down by three, Tenaha entered the final quarter with a never-give-up attitude. Douglass pulled ahead early taking a 31-24 lead.
Things didn’t look good for the Lady Tigers, but they pressed on and fought back. Tenaha found a rhythm and tied the game up at 31 with 2:40 to play.
The next minute of play was the kind of competition that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Tenaha took the lead with less than a minute on the clock, and when the final buzzer rang, the Lady Tigers reigned victorious.
When asked about how they turned things around Gray had this to say, “Well when you get chewed out in the locker room, you’ve got to come and play. I was trying to help my team out. We were all just working together, that’s what you have to do. It feels really good. We were put down. We weren’t going to make it to the playoffs, and now we’ve showed them that we made it!”
Gray’s 14-point performance was pivotal to the Tigers’ comeback. Suell wasn’t far behind with her 11-point total.
“I really think that it’s a credit to our kids. I mean, we could’ve hung our heads,” said coach Garry Davison. “They had us down five points in the fourth quarter, but our kids kept fighting, they kept competing. I thought Kamari pulled it out and gave our kids a little momentum.
“It looked like they were going to try to hold it, and we just kept fighting and got a couple big steals and then made them pay off on the other end. When we got even, we had the momentum, and I think that was a huge part of it.
“That momentum at the end just sort of pushed us on through. When you play against those teams [Woden and Timpson] your kids are going to be prepared. We’ve had to play every night. Shelbyville is really good too, SA is pretty good, Martinsville is a good team. I think it’s one of the toughest districts in the state. I’m so proud of how we played. We’re prepared. I know people say, ‘Oh they’re the fourth team in the district.’ I want you to know that our kids can play,” Davison said following the exciting win.
Tenaha is now all set to take on Broaddus in Cushing on Thursday night at 7 p.m in the Area Round of 2A Girls’ Basketball Playoffs. The Lady Tigers have proven that they’re a team to look out for as we head deeper into the playoffs.