Lady Tigers down Squadron, will host area

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 9, 2006

&#8220It was a dream! We girls haven't beaten Highland Home in 13 years.”

Those were the words of Luverne High School's Lady Tigers' captain Mallory McDougald on her game-winning layup that came in the last two seconds of Friday night's game against the Highland Home Lady Squadron.

At the end of the first period, it was the Lady Tigers up 18 to 12. However, Highland Home kept it close the entire game, ending the first half just one point behind Luverne 24-23.

Highland Home's Brandie James had six points for the first half, while Jessica Merriweather dropped in 10.

Both teams kept it a close game all during the third quarter, with Luverne's Sharicka Brantley draining two 3-pointers within two minutes of each other. It was 35 all by the end of the third quarter.

Highland Home's Jessica Merriweather was unstoppable throughout the game, but during the fourth quarter, she began to put the pressure on the Lady Tigers, answering every point with a basket of her own.

Merriweather put the Lady Squadron up 41-39 with under three minutes left in the game, but then fouled out with 1:57 left.

Luverne's Jaleesa Franklin tied the game 41-41 with 1:04 left, only to have Highland Home's Brandie James add a free throw to put the Lady Squadron up by one.

In the last two seconds of the game, Luverne's McDougald put up a layup that sealed Highland Home's fate, 43-42.

High scorers for the Lady Tigers were Jaleesa Franklin with 14 points and Sharicka Brantley with 18 points.

Highland Home's Jessica Merriweather put up 26 points and Brandie James had 9.

&#8220We haven't gotten to host the area tournament here at Luverne for 13 years,” McDougald said. &#8220Since it's my senior year, it means a whole lot.”