Lady Tigers Romp Cabool

Coach Brent Kell wants his team to relax and enjoy the game.

The Lady Tigers certainly did Monday night.

Houston scored 15 of the game’s first 16 points as it built a big halftime advantage and cruised past Cabool 70-23.

“The kids played loose,” Kell said. “That’s what we’ve been looking for – playing loose and having fun. That’s what we have to continue to do.”

The last time the Lady Tigers (8-11) faced Cabool, they held a slim four-point halftime advantage. This time, they led 19-7 after one quarter and by 28 at the half.

“I thought we came out business-like and took care of them early,” Kell said. “We were able to put them away.”

Junior Kendra Welch hit four 3-pointers en route to a game-high 18 points.

Holly Thomas had 15 points and Kate Harper added 12 for the Lady Tigers, who shot better than 60 percent from the field.

Welch drilled a 3-pointer and jumper on consecutive possessions, followed by back-to-back scores from Harper to conclude a 13-0 run that made it 15-1.

Houston’s advantage stretched to 20 when Thomas made a short jumper following a turnover. Senior Stephanie Dukes gave Houston a 44-16 halftime advantage when she drained a long jumper just before the buzzer.

The victory ended a two-game losing skid for Houston, which lost to Thayer 58-41 Saturday night in the third-place game of the Mansfield Invitational. The Lady Tigers were defeated 38-26 in Thursday’s semifinals by top-seeded Fair Grove.

Thomas scored 26 points against Thayer, which outscored Houston 23-11 in the third quarter to stretch its seven-point halftime lead.

In Thursday’s semifinals against Fair Grove, Welch had a team-best eight points. Thomas scored six.

Houston 19 25 17 9 – 70

Cabool 7 9 6 1 – 23

HOUSTON – Moore 3 0-2 6. Pounds 1 0-0 2. Honig 3 0-0 6. Welch 7 0-0 18. Thomas 5 5-6 15. Dukes 1 0-0 2. Harper 6 0-0 12. Keeney 4 1-1 9. Totals 30 5-8 70.

CABOOL – Vonallmen 0 2-2 2. Gibson 0 1-2 1. Vaughan 0 1-4 1. Chappell 2 2-3 6. Stillwell 0 2-2 2. Richardson 1 3-5 6. Reeves 1 3-4 5. Totals 4 14-22 23.

3-pointers: Houston 4 (Welch 4); Cabool 1 (Richardson).

Saturday’s Game

Houston 10 7 11 13 – 41

Thayer 11 13 23 11 – 58

HOUSTON (7-11) – Pounds 0 2-4 2. Honig 0 0-2 0. Welch 2 2-2 7. Thomas 10 9-6 26. Harper 1 0-0 2. Pierce 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 10-17 41.

THAYER – Stevens 14 5-6 33. Hawkins 0 1-2 1. Attikson 0 0-1 0. Hebert 4 0-1 8. Adams 3 0-0 7. Earl 2 0-2 4. Cariale 1 3-4 5. Totals 24 9-16 58.

3-pointers: Houston 1 (Welch); Thayer 1 (Adams).

Thursday’s Game

Houston 1 12 7 6 – 26

Fair Grove 8 10 14 16 – 38

HOUSTON (7-10) – Moore 0 0-1 0. Pounds 1 0-0 3. Welch 0 2-2 8. Thomas 1 4-8 6. Harper 2 0-0 4. Pierce 1 0-3 2. Keeney 0 3-4 3. Totals 7 9-18 26.

FAIR GROVE – Counterman 0 0-2 0. Cleeton 0 0-2 0. EGavin 4 8-11 17. Edwards 4 3-4 11. MGavin 6 2-4 11. Kensinger 1 0-0 2. Hicks 2 0-1 4. Totals 16 13-25 48.

3-pointers: Houston 3 (Welch 2, Pounds); Fair Grove 1 (EGavin).

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