The McLennan Highlassies opened the season with an 85-73 win over the Coastal Bend Cougars tonight at The Highlands.
The game began with a rare jump-ball violation on Coastal Bend with the jumper catching the tip. McLennan took the ball following the violation and opened the game on a Colandria Haynes 3-pointer. The Highlassies hit three 3-pointer in the first two minutes of play, building a 9-2 lead. Coastal Bend rallied to tie the game at nine with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter. McLennan responded with a 6-0 run and led 15-9 at the first media time out. Jordan Mullins fired up the Highlassies with a powerful block of Coastal Bend lay up. The Cougars drained a 3-pointer off the ensuing inbound pass, giving Coastal Bend its first lead of the game, 16-15 with 3:52 to go in the quarter. The Cougars held the 23-20 lead heading into the second quarter.
McLennnan started the second quarter on a 9-0 run to take the 29-23 lead with 8:30 to play in the first half. Coastal Bend began to chip away at the Highlassies lead and tied the game at 35 with just under four minutes remaining in the period. McLennan led by as many as five down the stretch and held the 44-40 advantage at the break.
The Highlassies came out on fire on the second half, opening on an 11-2 run to take the first double-digit lead of the game. McLennan led 60-43, the largest lead of the contest, with 4:34 to play in the third quarter. Coastal Bend rallied, trimming the lead to seven, 65-58, with just under two minutes to go in the period. The Highlassies led 69-60 going into the final 10 minutes of play.
McLennan held the Cougars at bay in the fourth quarter, maintaining a 10-point cushion and cruising to the victory.
Freshman Velma Mitchell led the Highlassies with 22 points and fellow freshman Ann-Marie Dunlap added 20. Freshman Ashley Moore and Nadia Hayes added 12 and 10, respectively.