The Minden Crimson Tide and Minden Lady Tider basketball teams were back in action Tuesday night inside The Palace for a pair of early season rivalry games with the Haughton Buccaneers and Haughton Lady Bucs.
The Crimson Tide played for the first time this season with the additions from the Tide football team that was recently eliminated from the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Tide showed improved defense and scoring on their way to a 70-59 win.
“I thought we did some positive things tonight,” Minden head coach Alan Shaw said. “We struggled against their press in the third and early fourth quarter and got down, but we fought back and made a big run their with our defense making some plays and hitting some free throws down the stretch. We’ll continue to grow and get better each day that we practice and each game we play.”
Minden led at the half 34-25 behind a bevy of steals converted into layups on the other end.
Haughton countered with a big run of their own, taking what was once a 12-point deficit and turning it into a two-point Buccaneer lead in the fourth quarter, 56-54.
Minden turned the heat back up and forced some timely Haughton turnovers. The Tide closed the game on a 16-3 run that had the home fans roaring as the final seconds ticked away in the win.
Sakari Batton had 16 points to lead the Tide, followed by Zi’Kerrion Baker with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Aaron Moses added 10 points as well.
The Minden Lady Tiders jumped out to an early 14-1 lead despite 20 first-half turnovers.
The Lady Tiders were in cruise control for most of the second half on their way to a convincing 71-55 win.
“I thought really from the tip that we played really good defense,” Lady Tider head coach Jacob Brown said. “We were able to put a little pressure on them and force some steals. There were a couple breakdowns, but good, hard defense is something we can hang our hat on.”
Brown said he was pleased with the offensive ball movement as well.
“We had some good practices and it carried over into our game tonight,” Brown said. “We were willing to make the extra pass and turn the offense.”
Bre Rogers and Sha’Terra Batton led the way for Minden with 16 points each, followed by Tiaga Pugh with 14 points and 15 rebounds and Marlena Hill with eight points and 13 rebounds.
The Tide and Lady Tiders will have a short layoff and get back on the court Dec. 1, at Lakeside in a big-time rivalry game.