HAUGHTON – The Minden Crimson Tide played their best game of the season Thursday night against Haughton on their home floor, downing the Bucs 55-39 thanks to solid zone defense and a sharp-shooting offense led by sophomore Curtis Carter.
Carter scored 15 of his 19 points from behind the arc in the second half to propel Minden past Haughton. He got great help from several teammates, most notably Zion Crawford with 14 points and big man Dallas Edwards with 7.
The Tide shared the basketball, often turning their offense over five or six times and taking up 45 seconds before taking a shot. The Bucs had to work hard defensively, and it influenced their offense, which was ice-cold from the floor.
“Tonight we showed a lot of growth,” Minden head coach Rennie Bailey said.
“Part of growing up is showing toughness and competing. Tonight, that was the difference. We showed toughness and competed.”
Haughton made one run at Minden in the fourth quarter, cutting what had been a 12 or 13 point lead down to four at 42-38, but Carter knocked down a pair of clutch 3-pointers right on cue and Crawford dazzled with a Euro step into the lane and finished at the rim to push the lead back to double digits and put the dagger in Haughton.
Minden now faces Calvary Friday at 8:30 p.m. for a spot in the Jack Clayton Championship Game.
Lakeside Warriors vs. Parkway Panthers
Lakeside was outplayed in nearly every facet of the game against Class 5A Parkway, falling 68-52.
“Sometimes you just get beat,” Lakeside head coach Marlon McDaniel said. “I’m not really disappointed in our effort, although we are tougher than we showed.”
Tyreke Lofton and Branthony Brown each scored 15 points to pace the Warriors and Damian Coleman finished with 13 points. Lakeside takes on Byrd Friday at 4 p.m. at Haughton High School.
Minden Lady Tiders vs. Northwood Lady Falcons
The Minden Lady Tiders continued their fast start to the season, blowing the doors off yet another opponent, this time, district foe Northwood by a score of 69-28.
Minden point guard Bre Rodgers busted a 3-pointer on the game’s opening possession and the rout was on from there, with Minden applying their patented fullcourt pressure leading to easy runouts on the other end. The game got off to a late start, as both teams had to wait nearly an hour for officials to arrive.
Despite the delay, Minden came out firing and got the result. Now, the Lady Tiders advance to the winner’s bracket where they will meet the top-ranked team in Class 4A, according to the LHSAA Power Ratings, the West Ouachita Lady Chiefs.
The two teams square off at Haughton Middle School at 4 p.m. in a game featuring two state-title contenders.
Rodgers led Minden with 11 points on the night, followed by Derrica Gilbert with 9 points; Strawberry Batton and Tayler Banks each added 8 points.