In a thrilling come-from-behind victory, the McLennan Highlassies defeated the Cisco Lady Wranglers 74-70 in tonight's North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference matchup at The Highlands.
The Highlassies secured the opening tip and found Ashley Moore under the basket for an early two-point lead. Cisco got on the board with a Bri'An Washington 3-pointer from the corner to begin a 10-0 Lady Wrangler run. McLennan cut the lead to four on a Velma Mitchell jumper midway through the quarter, 12-8. Cisco led 14-10 with 4:16 to play in the first. The Lady Wranglers ended the quarter on an 11-2 run to take the 25-12 advantage into the second. The Highlassies stepped up the defense in the second quarter, holding Cisco to just 10 points in the period and cutting the Lady Wrangler advantage to 10 at the break, 35-25.
McLennan made some adjustments at halftime and started the third quarter on fire. Moore began the scoring with a bucket and foul shot followed by back-to-back jumpers by Mitchell and Jaylonn Walker. A Mitchell steal, drive to the basket and free throw after a Cisco hacking foul capped off a 9-0 run. The run trimmed the Lady Wrangler lead to three, 40-37, with 4:21 to play in the third. Cisco extended the lead back to eight, 45-37. Another Moore 3-point play jump-started the Highlassies' offense. McLennan trailed by three with 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Patrickia Daily stepped to the free throw line following another Lady Wrangler foul. The first shot was nothing but net, but the second bounced off the iron. McLennan's Chelsi Woodard chased down the rebound and found Daily wide open at the 3-point line to give McLennan its first lead since the opening minute of play, 47-45.
A Dariel Johnson steal on the defensive end with 8:18 remaining in the game and ensuing layup by Walker began the Highlassies' run in the fourth quarter. McLennan extended the lead to nine, 65-56, with 1:36 to play. Cisco began to score from 3-point range to chip away at the lead, pulling within two, 72-70, with 10 seconds on the clock. Mitchell drained two free throws in the final seconds to assure the Highlassie victory.
Mitchell, the NJCAA Division I Player of the Week, led the Highlassies with 26 points. Johnson and Daily added 13 and 10, respectively.
McLennan continues conference play Saturday at Collin. Women's action tips off at 2 p.m. followed by the men's game at 4 p.m.
McLennan 74, Cisco 70
Cisco: Bianca Hampton 5 1-2 13; Lyndsey Downing 4 1-2 13; A'Lachanon King 5 1-2 11; Jada Washington 0 0-0 0; Bri'An Washington 7 3-5 21; Taylor Hayes 2 0-0 5; Jakierra Drummer 3 1-2 7; Korin Overton 0 0-0 0; Kala Jones 0 0-0 0; Sha'Kendra Tilley 0 0-0 0; Totals: 26 7-13 70.
McLennan: Patrickia Daily 4 0-1 10; Colandria Haynes 0 1-2 1; Dariel Johnson 5 2-2 13; Jordan Mullins 1 0-2 2; Velma Mitchell 8 10-13 26; Jaylonn Walker 3 2-2 9; Chelsi Woodard 0 0-0 0; Ashley Moore 5 3-4 13; Totals: 26 18-26 74.
3-pointers: Cisco 11 (Downing 4, B. Washington 4, Hampton 2, Hayes 1), McLennan 4 (Daily 2, Johnson 1, Walker 1); Total fouls: Cisco 21, McLennan 12; Fouled out: Cisco (Hampton); Halftime score: Cisco 35, McLennan 25; Record: 10-9 (3-1).