BY LINDA JACOBS, Enterprise staff
LIVINGSTON—The Livingston Lady Lions got off to a good start against the College Station Cougars, outscoring the visitors from Brazos County 12-11 in the opening frame for the early lead. Unfortunately, during the middle two frames things went due south for the Lady Lions as the Cougars outscored the home team 41-22 enroute to a 62-45 finish in District 18-5A basketball action.
The Lady Lions played hard and hustled but missed scoring opportunities on the floor and at the free throw line hindered the team Friday night.
"We had 25 missed shots in the paint and probably about 10 or 12 of them were layups, so that's 20-24 points right there," commented Lady Lion head coach Dan Baird, whose team fell to 1-2 in league play and 8-8 for the season. The Lady Lions also connected just 6-of-18 from the free throw line.
"I think we're more athletic than them, but they played smarter than us. We were doing some good things but then we're giving it right back to them. You can't be aggressive offensively and actually make our layups and then not get back defensively and give up easy baskets.
"I'm not going to make excuses, we just didn't get it done. As badly as I wanted to win this game and as much as I thought that we were the better team, obviously, that didn't show tonight."
The district win for the Lady Cougars was their first of the year after having lost to both Willis and Bryan Rudder in their first two district matchups. They are now 9-6 for the season.
Livingston opened district with a loss to the Bryan Vikings and then defeated Caney Creek for a 1-1 start. The Lady Lions are now off through Christmas and will return to the court on Monday, Dec. 29, when both the Lady Lions and the Lions will host tournaments. There will be 34 girls teams and 16 boys teams vying for tournament titles during the three-day event.
Jhonrekia Ramsey-Dunn started the scoring action for the Lady Lions by popping in a three-pointer with 7:45 on the clock. The two teams would exchange leads four times and there were three ties during the first eight minutes. Dunn would finish with nine of Livingston's 12 first quarter points.
Both Dunn and D'Asia Ivory would lead the Lady Lions with 14 points in the game. All other Lions were held to single digits. Jasmine Randolph finished with five points, followed by Shykia Phillips, four; Maeneisha Bogany and Takira Taylor added two points each and Nykiah Youngblood scored one free throw for the Lady Lions.
The Cougars knotted the score 12-all with a free throw at the start of the second frame. Ramsey-Dunn scored on a short baseline jumper for Livingston's last lead of the game, 14-12 with 7:33 on the clock.
Raenetta Hughes, who led all scorers with 17 points, tied the game at 14 with 7:22 on the clock. College Station never trailed again as they finished with a 21-9 advantage in the second frame to take a 32-21 halftime lead.
The Cougars stretched their lead to 13 points in the first two minutes of the third quarter, leading 36-23 with 6:21 on the clock. Livingston managed to cut the margin to seven points midway in the quarter when D'Asia Ivory drove the lane for an inside hoop at the 4:02 mark, 38-31.
The well went dry for the Lady Lions as they scored just three more points in the third. Just the opposite for the Cougars who deposited 14 points to take a commanding 18 point lead at the end of the third, 52-34.
The Lady Lions managed to outscore the Cougars 11-10 in the fourth. Jasmine Randolph pitched in all five of her points in the final quarter, including a three-pointer in the final minute of play. Takira Taylor got a steal and layup in the fourth and teammates D'Asia Ivory and Sky Harrison both connected on outside shots for the Lady Lions.
The freshman Lady Lions were defeated 33-21 and the JV's fell by a 35-22 margin to the Cougars.
Top freshman scorers were, Ayramee Cooper, seven; Ryan Richards and Kierra Jackson, five apiece; Brooke Thomas and Ashley King, two points each.
The JV Lady Lions were led by Amya Handy and Brianna Hutchinson who scored six points apiece, followed by Wendi Allen, four; Ara Richardson, three; De'Breonia Cooper, two; and Destani Jackson, one free throw.