Rivalry games are typically intense as both teams bring their best to attempt to defeat a rival. Tonight was no exception as the Lady Tigers and Lady Pirates needed overtime to decide their contest, while Mt. Olive hung around till the very end against the Tiger guys.
Lady Tigers win a wild one
Led by senior Tatiana Cagins, sophomore Skylaar Easterling, and junior Raneisha Magee, Collins clutched through to defeat Mt. Olive 40-39 in overtime.
“We played hard. We played hard the whole game. Even when we were down, we didn’t drop our heads. We got down and we were able to keep fighting to tie it up and send it to overtime. Even when we were down the last few seconds in overtime we were able to pull it together and get the win. We worked very hard as a team tonight and I’m proud of my girls for that,” said Collins head coach Dale Clark.
Mount Olive grabbed the lead 8-6 to end the first period as both teams traded the lead throughout.
In the second period, Easterling scored the first six points of the period, giving Collins a 12-8 lead. Cagins then connected with eight points of her own as Easterling and Cagins outscored Mt. Olive single-handily 14-5 in the second period. When the halftime buzzer rang, Collins held a 20-13 lead over Mt. Olive.
Easterling and Gagins again carried the Lady Tigers through the third period, however, the Lady Pirates closed the gap as the fourth quarter drew to a close, 28-24.
Mt. Olive went on a 9-1 run to start the fourth period, giving the Lady Pirates a four-point, 33-29 lead in the process. However, Collins fought back with defensive stops and key turnovers in the final seconds to tie the game 35-35 as Magee hit a shot with under 30 seconds to play.
Overtime saw Collins once again fight from a four-point deficit built by Mt. Olive, as Magee and Cagins scored key baskets in the final moments, with the last basket being scored by Magee to seal the one-point victory.
“Raneisha is our post player. She’s a junior, but she is one of our captains. Her size is intimidating. Tatiana does a good job in the post as well as outside. She does a good job for us with her skillset. Tonight, both of those girls stepped up for us in this win. You saw it when Tatiana passed Raneisha the ball to hit the last layup to send us to overtime. They work well together and they’ve done that all year,” said Clark.
The Lady Tigers move to 3-10 overall on the season as the Lady Pirates fall to 3-7.
Tiger guys keep Pirates at bay
Collins head coach Kyle Pope emphasized getting his guys back in basketball shape and ready to play down the stretch.
“We had nine football players suit out, so we are trying to get our guys in shape right now. We had a tough game last night against Magee, but they showed a lot of poise tonight coming out against a rival,” said Pope.
Collins took the lead early and never looking back as they led 14-8 after one period of play.
During the second period, Collins went on an 11-1 run to extend their lead to double-digits. Mt. Olive responded with an 8-0 run of their own, however, when both teams went to their respective locker rooms the tigers led y eight, 31-20 as Emmanuel Lockhart drained a three as time expired.
In the second half, Mt. Olive made a run as junior Javeon Gordon tried to get the Pirates back into the contest, but Collins quickly settled back in.
“I told our guys to settle down and play basketball. Don’t try to do what you can’t do, just do what you can,” explained Pope.
When all was said and done, Collins took a 53-46 victory over the Pirates.
Pope was proud of how senior Jason Thompson played.
“He’s a strong left-handed kid who is very athletic. You can’t ask for a better post player than what he is and he can run the floor all night long,” said Pope.
Collins moves to 10-4 overall while Mt. Olive falls to 5-4.