Thursday night, the Minden Lady Tiders (13-6) had The Palace all to themselves for a showdown with the No. 3 ranked team in Class 5A, West Monroe Lady Rebels.
In a competitive and hard fought game, the Lady Tiders came up short, 37-33.
“Both teams really, really got after it defensively,” Lady Tider head coach Jacob Brown said. “You hate to see either team lose a game like this. I thought we took care good care of the basketball for the most part. I believe we had our least amount of turnovers on the year (13). I always tell the girls I think 10 or fewer gives a you a great chance to win, and we were a little bit above that. Hats off to our girls though, they played a tough ball game.”
Minden was down by 6 points with four minutes to play and went on an 8-0 run to take a two-point lead.
Sha’terra Batton and Bre Rodgers hit some clutch free throws to give the Lady Tiders the late lead, and it looked like the a win was within reach.
Minden led 8-6 after one quarter, moving the basketball and getting good shots, but Batton got in early foul trouble, taking the Lady Tiders top scoring option off the court for the majority of the second quarter.
West Monroe outscored Minden 9-7 to send the two teams into halftime tied 15-15. In the third quarter, the Rebels held Minden to just four points, then held on for the win in the exciting final quarter that saw the two teams even at 14-14.
“Our girls played their hearts out,” Brown said. “It was a very exciting game and could have gone either way. I think this is a game we can grow and learn from, more than any game we’ve played all year. West Monroe is a very good team and if we hit some shots we typically make it’s a different ball game.”
Sha Whiting had her best offensive game of the season, leading the team with nine points, followed by Batton with seven points, Tiaga Pugh added six points and Whitney Aubrey had five.
The Lady Tiders will be back in action against Atlanta in Summerfield on Saturday at 3 p.m.