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Girls’ basketball: Tensas Academy overcomes turnovers, beats Centreville 30-25

Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Tensas Academy’s Hali Matthews passes the ball as she falls to the floor against Centreville Academy defenders Tori Rouse and Kaylea Hurst Monday night during the Lady Chiefs 30-25 win.

NATCHEZ — Hali Matthews’ five fourth-quarter points ended up being the difference for Tensas Academy Friday night.

The Lady Chiefs edged Centreville Academy 30-25 in the Adams County Christian School Girls’ Tip-Off Tournament — the first game of the season for both squads.

The game was littered with mistakes by both teams, and Tensas head coach Nicky Pere said he was glad his team was able to escape with a win despite its inconsistent play.

Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Tensas Academy’s Madison Keyes reaches for the save against Centreville Academy’s Tori Rouse as the ball heads out of bounds Monday night.

“We played hard, but we had way too many mistakes and were too loose with the ball,” he said. “I was glad that we never gave up, and in the second half we got on a run.”

The game was tied at 16 at halftime, but Tensas outscored the Lady Tigers 6-1 in the third quarter, and that ended up being the difference.

“I think the girls gave a good effort, but we could not score,” first-year Centreville head coach Mike Swindle said. “You can’t win too many games scoring nine points in a half.”

Both teams scored eight points in the fourth quarter.

Centreville’s Tori Rouse was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points.

“She’s a player,” Swindle said. “She gives it all she’s got, and we try to get her the ball as much as we can.”

Matthews finished the game with nine points for the Lady Chiefs. Malori Lansing and Madison Keyes chipped in with eight points a piece for Tensas.

Pere said he would use the mistakes his team made in its first game to help the girls improve before district play.

“Down the road we’ve got to protect the ball better than what we’re doing,” he said.

Tensas is only playing with five varsity players, to go along with three freshmen, this season.

Swindle took over the head coaching job for the Lady Tigers this summer replacing former head coach John Gray.

Tensas (1-0) will host Riverfield Academy tonight, while Centreville (0-1) will play Trinity Episcopal Day School at the ACCS tournament.