A season’s worth of effort has finally started to pay dividends for the Waynesville High School Lady Tigers varsity girls’ basketball team, which had a strong showing at last week’s Washington Tournament in Washington, Missouri.
The Lady Tigers ended the tournament with a 36-27 loss to the Pacific Lady Indians Friday. Waynesville fell behind by 10 points early in the game but kept pace with Pacific through second and third quarters. Although it wasn’t enough to overcome Pacific’s lead, the Lady Tigers outscored their opponents by three points in the fourth quarter.
“It was a good team effort,” said Brittany Matlock, WHS head coach. “We are moving in the right direction.”
Sophomore Arainana Jones led the Tigers against the Indians with nine points.
Earlier in the tournament, the Lady Tigers earned their second victory of the season with a 46-39 victory over the Parkway West Longhorns Jan. 29.
Waynesville established an early four-point lead and continued to build on it through the remainder of the game.
WHS junior Naudia Evans led the Lady Tigers with 21 points against Parkway West, while sophomore Chambre Garcia scored six points, and sophomore Astacia Garcia and Jones added five points each.
“It was a good team effort on both ends of the floor,” Matlock said. “We stuck together through adversity and came out with the win.”
Waynesville also jumped out to an early lead in the opening game of the tournament Jan. 28 but fell behind in the second period and never recovered their momentum.
The Lutheran South Lancers, from Chesterfield, Missouri, won that game, 65-34.
“We played one of our best halves of the season early on — then we got in a little foul trouble and let that get us down,” Matlock said.
Up next for the Lady Tigers: Waynesville plays host to the Lebanon Lady Jackets at 7 p.m. tonight in the WHS gym.
In other WHS sports:
It was a tough home loss Jan. 29 for the WHS Tigers varsity boys’ basketball team, who fell to the St. Louis Christian Crusaders 62-45
The Tigers struggled through most of the first quarter, trailing 31-16 at halftime. Waynesville kept a better pace in the second half and even outscored the visitors 12-8 in fourth-quarter points, but the Tigers couldn’t overcome the big lead built by the Crusaders through the first three quarters of the game.
There were some bright spots for the Tigers, who knocked down five 3-pointers and went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line. Mike Lewis led the Tigers with 12 points but was the only WHS player in double figures. Shen Butler-Lawson added nine points, and Eric Morriss added eight points.
“Our guys had a tough task tonight — St. Louis Christian is a very good team,” WHS head coach Chris Pilz said. “Shen Butler-Lawson played tough tonight, (and) I thought he showed leadership. Morriss and (Hunter) O’Neil both are playing a lot more aggressive. We competed, and I believe we will gain confidence from this game tonight.”
Up next: The Tigers travel Friday to face the Yellowjackets at Lebanon High School. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.