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Lady Bears turn back H-J to earn 3rd spot

LITLE CYPRESS — The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears sealed the third-place playoff berth out of District 24-4A Tuesday night by scooting past the Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks 41-34 at The Bear Cave on Senior Night.

Both the Lady Bears and Lady Hawks wrapped up 24-4A play with 7-5 marks but the Lady Bears will be the third-place team in the postseason due to sweeping H-J during district.

The Lady Bears got it done Tuesday night on the defensive end, forcing the Lady Hawks into 24 turnovers while committing just 13 of their own.

LC-M used a balanced attack, placing three players in double figures.

Post Sheridan Rogers and guard Alia Brown led the Lady Bear arsenal as both tallied 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds apiece while point guard Grace Chen chimed in with 10 points and six boards.

Guard Robyn Steen and forward Kaitlin McCallon both played excellent defense and pulled down five rebounds each.

Hardin-Jefferson power forward Tunisha Strong carried the Lady Hawks throughout the night as she finished with a huge double-double, totaling a game-high 20 points and game-high 12 rebounds.

Guard Taylor Riley added five points while post Danielle Stevens added five boards.

The Lady Bears led 12-9 at the end of the first period as Rogers scored four points while Strong had seven for H-J.

Chen filtered in four points in the second quarter as LC-M stretched its lead to 24-18 at intermission. Strong tallied five more points in the second quarter to keep H-J in the thick of it.

It was a defensive stalemate in the third quarter as LC-M maintained a six-point lead, 32-26 , heading into the final eight minutes.

Brown and Rogers hit consecutive buckets to give LC-M its biggest lead at 36-26 and the Lady Bears never looked back.

The Lady Bears finished with a 35-31 rebounding edge.

LC-M went just 13-of-26 from the free-throw line while the Lady Hawks were 10-of-17.