Two of Harrison County’s Ladycat basketball teams went head-to-head in a tiebreaker to decide on playoff seeding Tuesday night in Marshall.
Ultimately, it was Waskom that came away with the 59-39 win to earn the No. 2 seed. Both teams entered the contest with 10-4 district records.
Nattiea Chatman was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points for Waskom. Skyie Middlebrook was next in line with 12. Leanna Garrett, Malayah Fields and Jaynai Miles each scored seven points apiece. Makayla Jeter finished with six.
Paiton Little led Harleton in scoring with 10 points. Meredith Sellers scored seven while Amber Hitt and Katie Holliday each tossed in six points. Haylea Murray recorded four points while Hannah Cartwright, Ashanti Johnson and Remmington Stinebaugh all came away with two points.
“I think it was a good team effort,” Waskom girls head basketball coach Jalena Sanders said. “There were people who stepped up and made some shots that normally are not confident shooting the ball but because we’re short a player, other people stepped had to step up and do their job. So I think as a team, they realized somebody else has to be ready to step up and shoot the ball and that’s what happened.”
It took about two-and-a-half minutes before either team to score but Ashanti Johnson knocked tossed in the first points of the game on a long two. Little followed that up with a field goal before going 1-for-2 from the foul line to give her Ladycats a 5-0 lead. Miles put Waskom on the scoreboard with a three that started a 7-0 run. Chatman went 2-for-2 from the foul line and Garrett added a layup to give Waskom its first lead of the game.
Stinebaugh added a two before Holliday added a three put Harleton back in front 10-7 after the first quarter.
The two teams exchanged buckets early in the second quarter moments before Chatman came away with an and-one to force yet another lead change. Holliday launched another shot from beyond the arc to give Harleton another three-point play and the 15-14 lead. It was all Waskom for the remainder of the first half as it went on a 10-0 run.
Chatman drained a three while Middlebrook added a three and a two, followed by a field goal from Garrett, giving Waskom the 24-15 lead at the half.
Sellers scored the first points of the second half and Murray tacked on another two for Harleton to close the gap to five points. Middlebrook sank a jumper to bring the lead back to six. Jeter found Miles for the assist and Chatman’s bucket gave Waskom the game’s first double-digit lead. Miles went 2-for-2 from the foul line to make the score 38-26 with about a minute remaining in the third quarter.
Jeter hit a jumper just inside two before Chatman banked in a shot right before the buzzer sounded. That spread Waskom’s lead to 42-27 at the end of the third.
Waskom continued to pour it on early in the fourth as Garrett drained a three for the first points of the quarter. Fields knocked down both shots on her trip to the line. Chatman knocked down a jumper before Little and Sellers each came away with two points on the other end of the court. Waskom called timeout leading 49-33 with 5:21 left in regulation.
After the timeout, Hitt found Little for assist. Middlebrook knocked down a jumper before finding Chatman for the assist. Fields knocked down a jumper before going 1-for-2 from the line. Murray scored the final points of the game as Waskom pulled away with the 59-39 win.
Harleton will go head-to-head with Sabine in the bi-district round of the playoffs Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Hallsville. Waskom is scheduled to take on White Oak in Hallsville at 8 p.m. Friday.