Lady Jackets toppleLady Bears
By Josh Havard
KOUNTZE — For the Diboll Lady Jacks, district titles are simply a nice first step. They proved that in emphatic fashion on Monday night by opening up a close game after the half in rolling to a 57-37 win over the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears in Class 4A Region III Bi-District action in Kountze.
Nia Mitchell scored 17 points and Mia Williams and Hannah Boykin added 14 apiece as Diboll overwhelmed LCM.
The Lady Bears were led by Alyssa McKeller, who finished with 15 points. However, no other Lady Bear reached double digits.
In the early going, it looked like it could be a bumpy ride for the Lady Jacks as a pair of free throws by LCM’s McKeller put the Lady Bears on top 10-6.
Diboll found its shooting touch to finish the quarter as Williams knocked down a three and Kayla Box put back a missed shot to give the Lady Jacks their second lead. Mitchell then hit a jumper to put Diboll on top 13-10 after a quarter.
The Lady Bears didn’t go away in the second quarter. After falling behind by five points, Jacie Miller made a pair of free throws, McKeller hit a jumper and Miller hit another free throw to tie it up at 19-19.
The Lady Jacks closed the half on a strong note with Box hitting a free throw and Williams converting a rare four-point play to put Diboll on top 27-21 at halftime.
Diboll finally got some breathing room after LCM pulled within four points on a McKeller basket in the opening seconds of the third quarter.
Diboll answered with a Williams’ three, a Boykin layup and a Michelle Finley free throw for its first double-digit lead of the night at 33-23.
Ward got free for a pair of three-pointers late in the third quarter, giving Diboll a 41-27 advantage.
The Lady Jacks ended all doubt when Boykin and Mitchell hit back-to-back shots to make it an 18-point game early in the fourth quarter.
That lead was never threatened as Diboll eventually held a 23-point lead before LCM’s McKeller knocked down a three in the final seconds to make the final a 20-point game.
Other scorers for Diboll were Ward (6) and Box and Finley (3).
Other LCM scorers were Chelsea Perry (8), Miller (6), Renna Tooney (5), Asjah Harper-Kelly (2) and Genesis Barclay (1).
The Lady Jacks advanced to the area round of the playoffs with the win.