McLennan Highlassies fall to No. 18 Midland in final seconds

McLennan Highlassies fall to No. 18 Midland in final seconds

The McLennan Highlassies went on the road and narrowly missed knocking off the 18th-ranked Midland Lady Chaparrals tonight in Midland. It was a thrilling contest from the opening tip to the final seconds, ending with the Lady Chaps getting the 82-79 win.
 
Midland began the scoring with a 3-point play by Ella Tofaeono with 8:42 to go in the first quarter. A jumper by Mele Kaloni Kailahi less than 10 seconds later put McLennan on the board. Three-point baskets from Jaidyn Fontenette, Kenidi White, Jade Bradley and Kailahi helped build a six-point lead for the Highlassies, 14-8 with 6:09 to go in the quarter. Tofaeono scored Midland's first eight points to keep the Lady Chaps in the game. Midland put together a 9-0 run over the next four minutes to take the 17-14 lead. The two teams traded 3-pointers in the final minute with Midland holding the 20-17 lead after one quarter of play.
 
The Lady Chaps opened the second on a 6-0 run and extended the lead to 10, 30-20 with 6:43 to go before the half. McLennan didn't back down. Another 3-pointer from White ignited an 11-0 run by the Highlassies to trim the lead two, 30-28 midway through the quarter. Midland pulled away again and led 44-36 at the break.
 
A Kayla Anderson 3-pointer put Midland up by 11 early in the third but the Highlassies picked up the defensive game. Kailahi benefited from the Lady Chap turnovers and put together a 6-0 run to pull McLennan within five, 47-42 with just under five minutes to go in the period. The Highlassies hung with Midland for the remainder of the period and trailed 57-49 going into the fourth quarter.
 
Midland pushed the lead back to double digits early in the final period and led by 14, 77-63, with 3:34 to play. The Highlassies weren't going down without a fight in the final minutes. Yumon Simien drained a 3-pointer to start a McLennan rally. Elizabeth Critton drove the baseline for a bucket followed by a basket by Annya Moss and another Bradley 3-pointer to cap off a 10-0 run and cut the lead to four with a minute to go. Grace Beasley went 1-2 from the free throw line to put Midland up by five but another Bradley 3-pointer pulled the Highlassies within two, 78-76. Beasley tacked on three more free throws to extend the lead back to five for the Lady Chaps, 81-76. A Fontenette 3-pointer put the Highlassies within two with six seconds to go, 81-79. After multiple timeouts, Makayla Escue added another free throw for Midland to put the Lady Chaps up 82-79 with five seconds on the clock. The Highlassies had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer at the buzzer but it wasn't meant to be.
 
Jade Bradley led the Highlassies with 22 points and Mele Kaloni Kailahi added 14.
 
McLennan returns to action Saturday, traveling to Eunice, Louisiana, to face LSU-Eunice at 2 p.m.
 
McLennan:
Raija Todd 0 0-0 0; Ny'Asia Goldman 3 0-0 8; Kenidi White 3 0-0 9; Jaidyn Fontenette 1 1-2 3; Yumon Simien 2 0-0 6; Jade Bradley 7 3-5 22; Mele Kaloni Kailahi 6 0-0 14; Annya Moss 3 0-1 8; Elizabeth Critton 3 1-2 7; Seynabou Thiam 1 0-0 2; Totals: 29 5-10 79.
 
Midland: Ella Tofaeono 13 3-4 29; Da'siah Thornton 0 0-0 0; Makayla Escue 5 1-2 13; Grace Beasley 3 7-10 14; Nyaduoth Lok 4 0-0 10; Kayla Anderson 1 3-4 6; Kiera Bush 4 2-2 10; Erica James 0 0-0 0; Totals: 30 16-22 82.
 
3-pointers: McLennan 16 (Bradley 5, White 3, Kailahi 2, Goldman 2, Simien 2, Moss 2), Midland 6 (Lok 2, Escue 2, Beasley 1, Anderson 1); Total fouls: McLennan 21, Midland 12; Fouled out: McLennan (Bradley, Goldman); Halftime score: Midland 44, McLennan 36; Record: McLennan 9-3.