Straughn falls to No. 2 Samson

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Brentley Armstrong goes up for a strong layup.

Brentley Armstrong goes up for a strong layup.

The Straughn Lady Tigers had the lead for most of the day in their match up with the Class 2A No. 2-ranked Samson Lady Tigers, but it was Samson who edged out a 49-42 win Tuesday in Straughn.

Straughn got their offense off and running quickly in the first period, moving the ball around and waiting patiently for play to develop.

Brentley Armstrong got Straughn on board first when she found Harley Adcock with a bounce pass as she was heading through the lane for an easy layup.

After a stop at the other end, Armstrong picked up another assist when she found Dee Gantt heading wide-open down the lane for another easy bucket.

Straughn kept the pressure on Samson, forcing a turnover and then Baylee Wilson dished the rock down low to Gantt who went up strong for the layup, drawing a foul in the process. Gantt sank the free throw to put Straughn on top 7-0.

Gantt continued to assert her dominance on the low post, picking up another bucket off Armstrong’s third assist of game to give Straughn a 9-0 lead with just less than six minutes to play in the first.

Samson got on the board with 5:29 left in the opening period when Kaitlyn McKnight hit 1-of-2 free throws.

Samson turned up the heat on defense and began applying full-court pressure on Straughn. Samson’s defense forced a turnover, and then LaTascya Duff dropped in a bucket from downtown to cut Straughn’s lead down to 9-4.

Armstrong then picked up her first points of the night with layup off an assist from Adcock.

Adcock picked up three more points off a layup and a free three to close out the first period. Samson’s McKnight closed out the opening period with 5 points, as Straughn lead 14-11 heading into the second.

Gantt scored the first points of the second period, but then Samson came raging back. After cutting the Straughn lead down to four, LaTascya Duff got consecutive buckets to knot the game at 16-16 with 4:40 left in the first half.

Straughn answered right back with a big 3-pointer from Sydney Kinsaul to give them back the lead.

After a pair of free throws from Janesha Green made a one-point game, Gantt got another layup off an assist from Adcock.

LaTascya Duff found her groove again from downtown, as she tied the game at 21-21.

Straughn got a layup from Gantt and a free throw from Armstrong to give them a 24-21 lead heading into halftime.

Things got a little scrappy on the court as the third period got underway, and Samson was hit with technical foul after less than 30 seconds had run off the clock.

Armstrong knocked down 1-of-2 free throws to put Straughn up 25-21.

Moments later, Gantt was at the free throw line where she went 2-for-2 to give the home squad a six-point advantage.

Samson’s identical twins, LaTora and TaTascya Duff, then knocked down twin 3-pointers to tie the game 29-29.

Perfect trips to free throw line from Gantt and Samson’s Summer Stacy kept the contest knotted up near the end of the third period.

Straughn got a layup from Armstrong with time winding down in the third, but LaTascya Duff knotted the game at 35-35 heading into the final frame.

Samson’s defense switched from high-intensity to super high-intensity as they opened up the fourth period. The full-court pressure defense wouldn’t allow Straughn to move past half court, and a slew of turnovers led to the Duff twins pulling Samson out front 43-35 within the first two minutes of the period.

Straughn continued to battle with big points from Gantt, Wilson and Sarah Kate Shiver, but just couldn’t overcome the deficit. Samson got four more points from LaTascya Duff to give Samson a 49-42 victory.

LaTasyca Duff led Samson with 19 points and LaTora Duff finished with 11 points.

Dee Gantt led Straughn with 19 points and was 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. Armstrong had 8 points and Adcock finished with 7 points.

“There was a little lapse for us to start the fourth, and that ended up costing us,” Straughn head coach Scott Kinsaul said. “Other than that, there wasn’t anything to complain about. I thought we had our best game, as far as how we executed our offense. Hopefully, that is a sign of growth and we can keep building from that. This was a very good Samson team, and I’m glad to play a team like that. This is going to help us get ready for area play. Now we are going to go down to Mobile and see how we can do in that tournament, and then we will come back and get ready to start area play in January.”