The Minden High Crimson Tide and Lady Tiders began district play Tuesday with a pair of wins over Northwood at The Palace.
In the boys game, the Crimson Tide and Falcons battled throughout the night, with the Crimson Tide edging the Falcons, 61-57.
“It was a battle all the way,” Crimson Tide head coach Alan Shaw said. “We didn’t get off to a very good start, but once again we got great production from our bench to keep us in the ballgame early.”
Northwood was able to contain the Tide’s Kevin Hamilton, who had been on a tear as of late, forcing Minden to look to other players for production.
“It was a typical game for our district as far as what we expect the rest of the way,” Shaw said.
“Northwood came in prepared with a good plan and played well. In the second half, we were able to get them out of that plan and got them up and down the floor the way we like to play.”
The win was the Crimson Tide’s eighth in a row, making Minden arguably the hottest team in district 1-4A.
That’s all very good news, but there was one aspect of the game that left Shaw with a bad taste in his mouth.
“I was really disappointed with our crowd tonight,” Shaw said. “Our boys and girls team are both playing really well and playing so hard. It’s upsetting because these kids know how much time and effort they’ve had to put in and then the crowd is so sparse and there’s not many people there to support them.”
J’Larenz Beene led the Tide with 15 points. Kevin Hamilton was guarded closely all night but still scored 11 points. L’Jarius Sneed finished with 7 and Sakari Batton added 6.
In the girls game, the Minden Lady Tiders dominated the Lady Falcons on their way to a 54-31 win.
“I thought we set the tone and pace of the game early on,” Lady Tider coach Jacob Brown said. “Our man-to-man defense was good throughout the ballgame at forcing turnovers. We also rebounded really well tonight. That was a big bright spot for us to clean the glass like that.”
The Lady Tiders shutout Northwood in the first quarter, jumping out to a 16-0 lead. By halftime, the score was 31-3.
“All the young ladies competed hard both offensively and defensively,” Brown said. “We did a good job moving the ball against their zone defense.”
Brown was pleased to get a win in not so dramatic fashion, and to be able to use his entire bench.
“A lot of yound ladies got a taste of varsity action tonight,” Brown said. “They competed hard when they came into the game. I like the growth of this team and I don’t think we’re done improving. We have some really big games coming up next.”
The Lady Tiders are now 11-8.
Tiaga Pugh finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds to lead Minden. Marlena Hill added 13 points and 15 rebounds and Sha’terra Batton scored 10.