Thrilling 1-point game highlights Lady Bears/Lady Eagles playoff battle

Published 12:32 am Saturday, February 19, 2022

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CROSBY – In nail-biting fashion, Little Cypress-Mauriceville survived a late run by the Houston Washington Lady Eagles in the Class 4A Region III area round of the playoffs.

The Lady Bears escaped with a 56-55 win to advance to the next round Friday night at Crosby High School.

Facing a significant deficit entering the final quarter, the Lady Eagles began to mount a comeback. With two minutes left in the game, Washington’s Dakiah Yates caught fire and scored eight straight points.

With 4.5 seconds remaining, Samantha Anaya hit a three-pointer from the right corner to bring the Lady Eagles within one point, 56-55.

Washington then forced a turnover underneath its own basket to gain possession but committed an offensive foul while inbounding the ball. LCM got another chance to inbound it, successfully dribbling out the final seconds to earn a 56-55 victory.

Keylie Washburn led the Lady Bears in scoring with 18 points, while Kaitlyn Ewing contributed 13.

Little Cypress-Mauriceville coach Eddie Michalko had high praise for his leading scorer after the game.

“Being a freshman, she shows a lot of maturity,” Michalko said about Washburn.

“Washington just didn’t give up, and I’m so proud of our girls. We did a great job on the boards. Again, I’m just really proud of these girls.”

The Lady Bears next face off against the Huffman Lady Falcons in the Class 4A Region III Regional Quarterfinals next Monday or Tuesday as the two schools will iron out details. Huffman defeated Brookshire-Royal 69-58 in the area round Friday night.

The Lady Eagles (17-13) came out of the gate scorching hot, opening the game on a 9-2 run in the first two minutes of action. However, the Lady Bears (25-9) quickly closed the gap, taking their first lead, 10-9, around the four-minute mark.

Both squads traded buckets, but the Lady Eagles ended the first quarter ahead 16-14.

The second quarter was much slower – neither team shot efficiently for the quarter’s first four minutes. At around the three-minute mark, the Lady Bears tied the game 19-19 before going on an 8-2 run. At the half, Little Cypress-Mauriceville led 27-21.

Freshman Keylie Washburn scored 11 points for LCM in the first half.

The Lady Bears’ offense started to really click in the third stanza of the game. They would score 18 points, marking their highest-scoring quarter of the night. Asia Robinson dropped in six points for LCM as the Lady Bears extended the lead to 13 points, 45-32, at the end of three.

The Lady Eagles’ leading scorer on the night was Yates with 26 points.

— By Keagan Smith, Special to The Orange Leader