Lady Stangs grab lead late, but lose 46-43

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

The Sweetwater girls basketball team got off to an awful start here Friday in its District 5-4A home opener against Snyder. The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 12-0 lead, putting the Lady Mustangs in catch-up mode for the next three periods until Tavis Black tied it, 39-39, with 3:28 to go.
Sweetwater then grabbed a 43-42 lead with 1:39 left on a shot in the lane by Kierstyn Thompson. But Natalee James of Snyder hit a 3-pointer as well as a free throw to regain the lead for the Lady Tigers, and Sweetwater was unable to answer as Snyder took a 46-43 win.
Sweetwater, now 1-2 in district play and 9-16 overall, had a chance to tie the game after James hit a free throw with 15.7 seconds left. But Amber Knox’s three-point attempt was no good and time ran out.
“We had a shot drawn up for Tavis but we couldn’t pull it off. She was covered up,” coach Sarah Johnson said of the finish.
“Not getting off to a good start was a problem but we did a lot better the second half. Right now it’s anyone’s district but we need to win more, especially at home.”
Black, who scored 22 points, led the Lady Mustangs’ comeback against Snyder, which is now 2-0 in district and 15-9 overall. She had 14 points in the second half and cut Snyder’s lead to 29-28 midway through the third quarter. But Snyder got its lead back to 37-30 before Black finished off a 9-2 run to tie it at 39 in the final period.
James had 17 and Kamiah Davis 14 for the Lady Tigers, who were outscored from the field but hit 9-of-11 at the line to Sweetwater’s 3-of-9.
The first three district games for Sweetwater have been decided by a total of seven points — a one-point overtime win at Lake View followed by three-point losses to both Midland Greenwood and Snyder. The last two games ended with missed 3-pointers by the Lady Mustangs that could have sent them to OT as well had they gone in.
Sweetwater will visit Big Spring (1-1) on Tuesday while Snyder hosts Greenwood (2-0).
Also scoring for the Lady Mustangs on Friday were Kyla Daniel with seven points, Alex Bell with four, Knox and Shavie Green with three and Nevaeh Sarabia and Thompson with two. Knox and Daniel each hit a 3-pointer.

Pictured: Sweetwater's Alex Bell shoots as two Snyder players try to defend her in Friday's District 5-4A girls game at Mustang Gym.
Photo by Kevin Wright