Photo by Derrick Mahone
Mundy’s Mill coach Tu Willingham talks to his team during a timeout in the second half of the Lady Tigers’ 46-30 win over Mount Zion on Tuesday in a Region 4-AAAA contest.
There is an old adage in sports that says: “A win is a win.” But don’t let Mundy’s Mill coach Tu Willingham hear you say that about his squad’s 46-30 Region 4-AAAA victory against Mount Zion on Tuesday evening.
In a game where the final score may not be indicative of the talent gap between these two teams, Willingham was gracious to Mount Zion in victory, but less than pleased with his own team’s efforts.
“Flat. Uninspired. Unfocused,” were the words Willingham used to describe the Lady Tigers’ performance.
“Mount Zion came out here with heart and passion,” he said. “They came out to win. We just came out to play.”
Mundy’s Mill raced out to an early 10-3 lead in the first quarter, scoring eight of its 12 points in the period off of Mount Zion turnovers that turned into Mundy’s Mill fast breaks. The Bulldogs made a surge, however, when Vivian McDougald nailed consecutive 3-pointers from the top of the key to tie the score at 16 with 5:01 to go before the half.
That glimmer of hope for Mount Zion soon faded as Mundy’s Mill ripped off 14 unanswered points to close out the half, getting a spark off the bench from Khadijah Page, who scored six of her eight points and swiped seven of her game-high nine rebounds during that game-changing stretch.
The Tigers’ onslaught continued in the third quarter, when Moneisha Dyer took a swing pass from Brianna McQueen and buried a 3-pointer. She followed up with another bucket generated by a Mount Zion turnover, and with McQueen sinking two of her game-high 23 points on a pull-up jumper, Mundy’s Mill scored the first seven points of the period.
Despite the spurts and flashes of brilliance, the Lady Tigers turned the ball over 16 times and made enough mistakes to cause Willingham some concern about his team being able to finish strong, heading down the stretch toward region playoffs.
“This is really the first time all year that we’ve come out flat,” Willingham said. “I’m not sure why, given that we had our best practice the day before. But if we come out with another performance like that, we won’t go very far.”
Did Willingham’s bunch perhaps look past Mount Zion, as they hit the softest part of their schedule?
“I won’t say we overlooked them, because Mount Zion played us tough at their place earlier this year,” he said. “So that shouldn’t have happened.”
Mundy’s Mill raised its record to 17-5 and 13-3 in region play, heading into Friday night’s home game against Riverdale. Meanwhile, Mount Zion (5-14, 5-9) faces yet another 4-AAAA giant Friday when it travels to No. 9 Forest Park.