Lady Hounds stumble at home, now tied for second

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 31, 2005

FERRIDAY &045; River Oaks’ Ainsley Moore didn’t make all her free-throws.

Not even close. For the game she was just six of 12 from the line. But with the Lady Mustangs leading 34-31 over Huntington, Moore hit three of her final four free throws in the last 25 seconds of the game to secure the37-31 win.

&uot;That was nerve-wracking,&uot; Moore said. &uot;We were just up by three, and I was pretty sure they were going to foul. I’m just glad I made them.&uot;

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River Oaks (5-3, 12-9) went on to get the win Huntington (5-3, 13-11) to put the teams in a tie for second place in District 7-A behind Tensas (8-0, 18-6).

Since the district has no postseason tournament, the game was particularly important for both teams, since the team that finishes with the better district record will have the higher seed for the South State tournament.

&uot;That’s why this is so important, we may end up tied for second,&uot; Huntington head coach Penny Moak said. &uot;Tuesday’s game will be important again.&uot;

The win gives the Lady Mustangs a good chance at the No. 2 spot.

&uot;This puts us back in the hunt,&uot; River Oaks head coach Jay Via said. &uot;I feel very good about the way we played fired up and intense.&uot;

The game was close the whole way, with neither team taking more than a six-point lead at any point. River Oaks’ 21-15 lead with 3:39 left in the second quarter was the largest lead.

Huntington’s last lead came at 30-27 with four minutes remaining in the game.

Then Moore and the Lady Mustangs got down to business, outscoring Huntington 10-1 down the stretch. Moore scored four of those points for River Oaks, all from the line.

Huntington missed three 3-point shots in the final minute that would have brought the Lady Hounds to within one point before the Lady Mustangs sank three free throws to ice the game.

Huntington opened the first, third and fourth quarters with runs of at least 5-0 to take the lead in each case. But each time, the Lady Mustangs came back with a run of their own to take the lead for themselves as the Lady Hounds suddenly went cold on offense.

&uot;It seemed every time we got some momentum with one of those runs, then we had turnovers and other mistakes and that changed the momentum back to them,&uot; Moak said.

Huntington was held to just three points in the final five minutes of the second, third and fourth quarters combined as the Lady Hounds struggled to close out each period.

At halftime, Huntington trailed 21-17.

Huntington started the game on a strong note, scoring on a 3-point shot by Julie Moak and a long jumpshot from Jessie Lee.

After the game, Huntington’s Erin Hedrick said the loss was because of what her team didn’t do rather than the things the Lady Mustangs didn’t do.

&uot;It was just us, not anything they did. We didn’t come with everything we had,&uot; Hedrick said. &uot;There’s no reason we should have lost to them.&uot;

Penny Moak conveyed a similar sentiment.

&uot;We went into it taking them for granted since we beat them by 10 at their place. River Oaks came in thinking this was a big game,&uot; Moak said. &uot;If you don’t show up ready to play, this will happen.&uot;

Despite leading the Lady Hounds with eight points, Hedrick didn’t appear to be her usual self after missing school and basketball all week because of illness. She came off the bench instead of her usual starting role and played fewer minutes.

&uot;I’ve been sick all season really, but yeah, I hadn’t touched a basketball since last Saturday (until the game),&uot; Hedrick said.

Moore led her team with 19 points, eight of them in the fourth quarter. River Oaks’ Malerie

Edwards was the only other player in double figures with 10. No reserve for the Lady Mustangs scored in the game.