- Parent Category: Sports
- Written by Chris Case
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The Cuba Lady Wildcats advanced to the second round of the Class 3, District 9 playoffs last week before their basketball season finally came to a close with an 81-52 loss to the St. James Lady Tigers. The St. James girls would later go on to capture the District 9 championship.
Cuba made the huge mistake of getting behind early to St. James, which is never a good plan. “Early on, we just couldn’t make any of our shots,” said Coach Yancey Temple. “We had trouble scoring, and once you get behind to a team like St. James, you’re in trouble. Plus, we got ourselves in foul trouble again. That didn’t help at all.”
The Lady Cats allowed the Tigers to score 29 points in the first quarter and another 28 in the second quarter. Their lack of defense proved costly, as they could only score 29 in the first half while the Lady Tigers put up 57.
The second half of the contest didn’t change much, with the Wildcats scoring 10 in the third quarter and St. James eight. In the final period, the Tigers outpaced the Cats 16-13 for an 81-52 final score.
“We went man-to-man, full court against St. James and really tried to bring more pressure,” said Temple, “but let’s face it, St. James is pretty good. They’re just tough, and they proved that by going on and winning the district. They were better than us; they deserved to win.”
Gabby House-Lee was the leading scorer for Cuba against the Tigers. She had 14 points. Shelby Whitaker contributed 12 points, Hannah Mitchell nine, Alexis Price eight, Sarah Griffith seven, and Gabbie Smith two.
The Cuba girls reached the semifinals by fighting their way back late in the game to beat Steelville in the opening round of the tournament.
Cuba trailed for more than half of the contest but found a way to get back in it in the second half.
“It was nice to see us come back in that second half against Steelville,” Coach Temple said. “It was good for us to get a district win under our belts. We didn’t get one last year; this year we did—and that’s great for a young team like ours.”
In the Steelville game, it was again a problem for the Wildcats to get early points. They scored just six in the opening period and a total of 16 in the first half, yet they trailed by just one point at the half, 17-16.
The Lady Cardinals looked good coming out of the break, but Cuba had turned things around by the end of the third, grabbing a 31-30 lead before the buzzer. Price scored five in the quarter, including a key three-pointer, that helped spark the CHS team.
Down the stretch, the momentum fully shifted Cuba’s way. The CHS girls dominated the fourth quarter, putting up 20 points in the period—their best quarter of the night. Holding Steelville to just 13 points in the final frame, Cuba went on to win 51-43.
Whitaker had the high scoring mark for the Lady Cats, with 14 points. Price scored in double figures with 11, Griffith had eight, House-Lee five, Mitchell five, Taylor Williams three, and Smith three.
The Cuba girls finished their season with a 16-11 record, going 8-2 in conference play and tying with Viburnum for the GVC title.