Highlassies topple Temple

Highlassies topple Temple

The McLennan Highlassies improved to 4-1 in conference play after squeaking out a 94-87 victory over the Temple Lady Leopards.
 
It was a tit-for-tat battle from the opening tip to the final buzzer with neither team gaining more than a six-point lead in regulation. Kenidi White drained a nothing-but-net 3-pointer from the side to begin the scoring for McLennan. Temple's Starr Jacobs put the Lady Leopards on the board with a bucket less than a minute later. The two teams traded baskets and the Highlassies held the 11-9 lead with 5:50 to go in the first quarter. A driving layup by Tiana Gardner tied the game at 11 and started a 7-0 run to give Temple the 16-11 lead with four minutes to go in the period. McLennan rallied with a pair of free throws by Mele Kaloni Kailahi followed by 3-pointers from White and Raija Todd to take the 19-18 lead. A pair of buckets by the Lady Leopards and a jumper by White rounded out the scoring in the quarter and gave Temple the 22-21 lead after the first.
 
The second quarter proved to be much the same. Once again the Highlassies and Lady Leopards traded baskets. McLennan led 38-36 with 2:35 to go before intermission. Elizabeth Critton hit a pair of free throws to put the Highlassies up by four. The Highlassies extended the lead to five, 44-39, with 27 seconds remaining in the half. Brooke Lopez nailed 3-pointer from the elbow with 16 seconds on the clock to cut the McLennan lead to two at the break, 44-42.
 
The two teams continued to battle in the third. McLennan led 51-48 midway through the quarter. Kailahi drained another 3-pointer to give the Highlassies a six-point lead, the largest to that point, 54-48. Two Temple layups and a pair of free throws from Gardner put the Lady Leopards within one, and the Highlassies would lead by three going to the final quarter, 60-57.
 
The teams continued to trade the lead throughout the fourth. The Highlassies led by four, 78-74 with 2:24 remaining. A bucket by Jacobs and a steal and layup by Carter with 25 seconds to go tied the game and forced the extra period.
 
The game remained tight until the two minute point of the extra period. With the game tied at 84, Bradley drained a pair of free throws to give McLennan the lead for good.
 
Seynabou Thiam led the Highlassies with 20 points and Jade Bradley added 19. Kenidi White and Ny'Asia Goldman scored 13 and 10, respectively.

Temple: Starr Jacobs 13 6-10 32; Amaya West 0 0-0 0; Kassadie Sanders 2 0-0 5; Alex Maresca 0 0-0 0; Keiarra Rivers 0 1-2 1; Jawain Caston 1 0-0 2; Jordyn Carter 4 1-4 9; Brooke Lopez 2 2-2 8; Elaina Tate 0 0-0 0; Tiana Gardner 13 2-4 29; Totals: 35 12-22 87.
 
McLennan: Raija Todd 3 0-0 9; Ny'Asia Goldman 3 4-4 10; Kenidi White 5 0-0 13; Jaidyn Fontenette 2 4-4 9; Jade Bradley 5 4-4 19; Mele Kaloni Kailahi 2 2-3 7; Annya Moss 0 0-0 0; Elizabeth Critton 2 3-3 7; Seynabou Thiam 9 2-3 20; Totals: 31 19-21 94.
 
3-pointers: Temple 4 (Lopez 2, Sanders 1, Gardner 1), McLennan 11 (Todd 3, White 3, Bradley 3, Fontenette 1, Kailahi 1); Total fouls: Temple 21, McLennan 21; Fouled out: Temple (Jacobs), McLennan (Bradley); Halftime score: McLennan 44, Temple 42; Record: McLennan 14-5 (4-1).