By Lee Wright
Special to the News-Daily
Playing its first game since Dec. 21, Mundy's Mill overcame a sluggish start and rusty play on Tuesday as the Lady Tigers pulled off a key 52-47 Region 4AAAA victory over Tri-Cities. Mundy's Mill is now 8-1 overall and 5-1 in the region since the season-opening defeat against North Clayton.
"We had a long layoff prior to tonight, and that's why we came out rusty and flat," said Mundy's Mill head coach Julius Omotayo.
"We are still learning how to win, but the kids are stepping up. Games in this region are tough, and they make you learn how to win in close situations."
Following a sluggish first quarter, the Lady Tigers used an 8-1 run to open the second quarter. Taylor Britt scored twice on the baseline, and a put-back by Briana McQueen gave Mundy's Mill a 16-11 lead at the 3:32 mark. Kristina Bridges' 3-point basket with 10 seconds remaining prior to halftime gave the Lady Tigers a 21-13 lead.
Just like the second quarter, Mundy's Mill opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run. McQueen's jump shot at the 5:13 mark gave the Lady Tigers a 29-21 lead. But Tri-Cities rallied with its defensive pressure, cutting the Mundy's Mill lead to 35-32 on a baseline jump shot by Paris Taylor with 35 seconds remaining.
"That was a good push to start the second half, but then we just let down," Omotayo said.
"Tri-Cities played tough defensive pressure and did a great job boxing out on the boards."
The Lady Bulldogs closed the Mundy's Mill gap to two points midway through the fourth quarter. However, the shot of the game for the Lady Tigers with a crucial 3-point basket by Bridges to give Mundy's Mill a 45-40 lead at the 3:30 mark.
Bridges paced Mundy's Mill with 17 points, while McQueen scored 10 points and Britt added eight points. Dominique Weathersby led Tri-Cities with 16 points, followd by Taylor with 14 points.
Mundy's Mill 66, Tri-Cities 65 (B): In the boy's game, head coach Tu Willingham's Mundy's Mill Tigers improved to 7-5 overall and 24 in 4AAAA with a thrilling one-point victory over Tri-Cities. Khari Hobbs drained a free throw with nine seconds remaining which proved to be the difference in the outcome as Tri-Cities' Demetrius Bennett drained a 3-point basket at the buzzer.
Mundy's Mill trailed by nine points, 36-27, at halftime, and by as many as 11 points in the third quarter. But the Tigers rallied with 25 points in the fourth quarter behind the strong play of guard Rashad Crawford to take the lead.
Hobbs scored 17 points to pace Mundy's Mill, followed by Crawford with 14 points, including three tremendous breakaway dunks in the fourth quarter. Forward Jarius Moses scored 11 points for the Tigers, while Jordan Spann and Chris Bryant each added nine points.
For Tri-Cities, Rashad Greene scored 17 points, followed closely by Bernard Dozier with 16 points. Jadorian Bennett scored 10 points for the Bulldogs.