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A Sweetwater team that came into its district opener against Snyder at Mustang Gym with a 15-10 record, nine wins in its last 11 games and high hopes of a playoff berth never quite found its rhythm Tuesday.
Instead, it was the visiting Lady Tigers who jumped to an early lead and was vir-tually in control all the way in a 46-43 victory.
Still, Sweetwater â€” which never led â€” was able to stay within striking distance and had a chance to win or at least send the game into overtime until the very end.
Sweetwater trailed 43-36 with 5:20 remaining against Snyder (15-7, 1-1 district), but then put together a 7-1 run to cut the lead to 44-43 when Alicia Finn scored in-side with 38 seconds left.
Snyderâ€™s Jentri Driggers was then fouled with 16.2 to play and connected on both of her free throws, and the Lady Tigers held on after Taylor McKoy missed a trey for Sweetwater that would have tied the game and likely forced an extra period.
A 6-0 Sweetwater run at the end of the first half produced a 25-25 tie, but the Lady Mustangs quickly fell behind when play resumed as Snyder ran off six straight points to regain the advantage. Suede Shirleyâ€™s basket and Aubra Hendrixâ€™s free throw made it 31-28, but Snyder then went on another 6-0 run to take its biggest lead until a 3-pointer by Shirley ended the run. Sweetwater got to within 44-41 with 4:30 to play, but failed to score on its next five possessions, all of which could have tied the game.
Sweetwater, which goes to Wylie on Friday and travels to Big Spring next Tuesday before returning home Jan. 21, was led by Finn with 13 points. Shirley and McKoy had eight, Kendra Crosson six, Hendrix five and Can-dice Hernandez three.
It was a different story at the sub-varsity level on Tuesday as the Sweetwater JV and freshman girls both won their district openers.
The JV girls won 37-31 to improve to 19-1 this season. Janell Walker had 10 points to pace the win while Kathleen Campbell, Kelsi Crosson and Destiny Osteen each had eight points and Elise Lawrence three.
Sweetwater overcame a 10-8 deficit after one quar-ter to lead 18-15 at halftime and 27-23 after three periods, before holding on down the stretch for the victory.
The freshmen girls beat Snyder 37-22, with Macaela Reschman scoring 11 and Shaneese Brown 10 to pace the win. Larissa Locklar, Taylor McPherson and Syd-ney Vanderbilt had four points and Kayla Chowning and Karlee Murff two.