By Derrick Mahone
Mundy's Mill guard Brianna McQueen didn't score a point in the third quarter as Jonesboro pulled back into Friday's Region 4-AAAA game.
But it was the junior's performance in the last 40 seconds of the game that proved the difference in Mundy's Mill 55-43 win over the Lady Cardinals to extend its win streak to three games.
McQueen, who made the all-county team last season, finished with a game-high 21 points, but it was her 10-point fourth quarter effort that came up big for the visiting Lady Tigers. She had eight points in the final 40 seconds, which included making all six of her free throws and coming up with a couple of rebounds and a steal.
"They had a box-and-one defense on her most of the game," Julius Omotayo said. "She wanted the ball. Leaders know when to take over. She made some mistakes, but she straightened it out and got this team going. It was a great team effort."
The Lady Tigers have won three straight games since opening the season with an 11-point loss at North Clayton to improve to 3-1 overall and in the region. Mundy's Mill is off until Dec. 18 when they it plays at Woodland.
After falling behind 27-19 at halftime, Jonesboro made a run in the third quarter as McQueen went scoreless in that period. The Lady Cardinals pulled to within 35-30 heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Lady Cardinals youth begin to show late in the game as they were plagued by turnovers.
For the game, Jonesboro finished with 30 turnovers, its second game of at least 30 turnovers.
"We got to find a way to minimize our mistakes," Jonesboro coach Michael House said. "We tried to play a lot of pressure defense. We were not able to reach our goal of holding the opponent's leading scorer to eight points. We didn't do that tonight."
It was McQueen's second straight game of having at least 20 points. McQueen said she knew she had to step up since Jonesboro was trying to make a comeback.
"We weren't scoring," McQueen said. "I was able to put us in the right offense. As a leader or a point guard, I had to step up. I didn't feel any pressure."
Three Jonesboro players - Ashley Hand, Briana Benson and Kelsey Arnold - lead the team with 10 points each.
"We are still looking for scorers," House said. "We did a good job against their press, but we have got to finish. We missed too many layups. I thought we had some good pressure defense, but we have to convert our defense into offense."
Omotayo had a similar assessment for his team.
"I thought we adjusted well to their defensive pressure," he said. "We need to work on our rebound. Overall, we ran our defense well at times. We executed well on offense for the most part."
Jonesboro boys 57, Mundy's Mill 37: Senior Rasham Suarez scored a game-high 17 points as the Cardinals rebounded for its first loss of the season earlier this week with a region win.
James White had 13 points and Cameron Sutton finished with 10 points for the Cardinals.
Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman said his team had a better effort than the one of Tuesday's loss at Lovejoy.
"We played a little better," Maehlman said. "We are making some strives. The offensive part will come."