Highlassies fall in shoot-out finale

Posted at 11:01 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 00:01:02-05

In a hard-fought battle, the Paris Lady Dragons slipped past the McLennan Highlassies 69-59 in the final game of the McLennan Shoot-out.

McLennan came out as a team on a mission, battling to bring its record back to .500. Velma Mitchell put the Highlassies on the board with a 3-pointer from the top of the key less than a minute into the contest. Paris' Makaela Mosley went 1-2 from the free throw line with 8:42 on the clock to begin the scoring for the Lady Dragons. Following a defensive stop, Mitchell took the ball coast-to-coast to draw a Lady Dragon foul, and gave the Highlassies the 4-1 lead. McLennan extended the lead to four, 12-8, midway through the quarter. Paris took its first lead of the game on a Leah Jossell 3-pointer with 1:50 to play, 13-12. Jossell hit another 3 with 56.5 to play to extend the lead to four. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Jaylonn Walker and Patrickia Daily in the final 30 seconds of the quarter gave McLennan the 18-16 lead after one period.

Jossell put the Lady Dragons back on top with a 3-pointer less than 10 seconds into the second, 19-18. The Highlassies took a three-point lead less than a minute later, following baskets by Desirae Devine and Walker. Paris tied the game at 22 with 8:10 to play in the first half. Nadia Hayes then gave McLennan the three-point lead on a bucket and one, and Devine extended the lead to five on a jumper with 6:34 remaining in the half. The Lady Dragons rallied in the final minutes of the half to tie the game at 28 at the break.

Paris made some adjustments coming out of the locker room to start the second half and opened the third quarter on a 14-0 run. McLennan stepped up late in the quarter and began to rally. The Highlassies trimmed the lead to 11 several times down the stretch. McLennan's Walker rolled in a layup at the buzzer to give the Highlassies the momentum going into the final quarter and cut the Lady Dragon lead to 13, 53-40.

McLennan opened the fourth quarter on a 4-0 run to pull within nine, 53-44, with 8:38 to play. Paris responded with a 4-0 run of its own to extend the lead back to 13. The Highlassie continued to work hard, forcing the Lady Dragons to take numerous off-balance shots late in their possessions. The Highlassies pulled within 10, 64-54, on a Devine jumper with 2:30 remaining and keep the game close through the final minutes.

Mitchell led McLennan with 14 points and Walker added 10.