Tensas falls in Overall tourney

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CLINTON — Tensas Academy went one-and-done at the MPSA Overall Tournament as the Lady Chiefs lost to the Hillcrest Christian School Lady Cougars 63-43 Tuesday afternoon in the first round at A.E. Wood Coliseum at Mississippi College.

Just like in its two losses as the Class A State Tournament, Tensas Academy could not get its shots to fall and that proved to be costly. The Lady Chiefs were just 6-of-24 from the field in the first half, including 0-for-5 from 3-point range, and trailed Class AAA No. 3 seed Hillcrest Christian 35-22 at the half.

“We hung around the whole ball game. We were down around eight to 10 for much of the first three quarters,” Tensas Academy head coach Chuck Bauerle said. “We got it down to seven in the third quarter, but we couldn’t get over the hump.”

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Considering the Lady Cougars were 13-of-25 from the field in the first half, that 13-point deficit the Lady Chiefs had could have been bigger had it not been for free throws. Tensas Academy, the Class A No. 4 seed, made all 10 of its free throws while Hillcrest Christian was just 8-of-13.

Tensas Academy tried to get back in the game in the third quarter as it outscored Hillcrest Christian 15-14, but the Lady Cougars responded by outscoring the Lady Chiefs 14-6 in the final eight minutes.

For the game, Tensas Academy was made just 15 of 47 shots (31.9%) while Hillcrest Christian was 24-of-51 (47.1%) from the field. The Lady Chiefs out-rebounded the Lady Cougars 30 to 24.

“One starter didn’t score. Just didn’t make the shots when we needed to. We’ve been like that the last two or three ball games,” Bauerle said.

Field-goal shooting wasn’t the only thing that did Tensas Academy in. So were turnovers. The Lady Chiefs had 25 turnovers to just 14 committed by the Lady Cougars. Mary Miller Ratcliff, who led the Lady Chiefs with 12 points before fouling out in the third quarter, committed a game-high eight turnovers. Allie Kate Gossett, who came off the bench to score 11 points, had six turnovers. Mary Elizabeth Crigler chipped in with eight points.

Beverly Bailey led the Lady Cougars with a game-high 17 points while Karly Kliesch and Breanna Howard each finished with 11 points.

Tensas Academy finished with a 23-13 record. Hillcrest Christian improved to 26-11 and will take on Class AA state champion Leake Academy in the girls’ quarterfinals today at 3:15 p.m.

Ratcliff and Crigler will represent Tensas Academy on the South All-Star team and Bauerle will be an assistant coach on that team in next week’s All-Star Game, which will also be held at A.E. Wood Coliseum.