Houston coach Brent Kell talks to his team during a fourth-quarter timeout.

The Houston Lady Tigers got the shots they wanted. Many were point-blank. But for a long stretch, none of them fell.

Houston went 6 minutes, 38 seconds without a point in the third quarter as a six-point lead turned into a double-digit deficit. The dryspell proved too much to overcome as the Lady Tigers’ late rally fell short in a 54-53 loss Monday night to Cabool inside Hiett Gymnasium.

Houston led 30-24 following sophomore Amber Sillyman’s 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the third. But the Lady Tigers didn’t get another point until Elizabeth Hayes’ free throws with 13 seconds left in the quarter.

Cabool, which scored 16 unanswered points as the Lady Tigers misfired from the field, led 40-32 entering the fourth quarter.

“That kind of game — where we shoot the ball like that from the inside — is probably one out of 10,” Houston coach Brent Kell said. “It just happened to be (Monday) night. We’ve had good success inside this season.”

Most of the Lady Tigers’ misses were from 5 feet and closer.

“We did a good job of getting the ball where we needed to,” Kell said. “We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket. That’s nobody’s fault. You have nights like that.”

Erica Keeney scored 10 of her team-high 16 points in the fourth. Sillyman hit three of the team’s six triples en route to nine points.

Houston (6-14) lost for the first time since a Jan. 29 defeat to Thayer to conclude the Mansfield Tournament. Kell said last Thursday’s game against Summersville, which was postponed due to inclement weather, will be counted as a 1-0 forfeit victory for the Lady Tigers.

Kenzie Scheets drained a 3-pointer from the left wing and Emilee Reese hit a long jumper to put Houston ahead 14-12 after the first.

Alexa Ichord had a pair of baskets and Burgess hit a 3-pointer as the Lady Tigers led 27-24 at the half.

After Sillyman’s triple to open the third quarter, Houston couldn’t hit from the perimeter and struggled on the interior against a lineup that featured six players 5 feet, 8 inches or taller. Three were over 6 feet.

“I don’t say we just missed shots,” Kell said. “Their defense had something to do with it. They present problems with their size and length.”

JUNIOR VARSITY: Eight different players scored in the JV Lady Tigers’ 46-15 romp Monday of Cabool.

Houston led 12-1 after the opening quarter and by 22 at the half.

Kaitlyn Neal scored a game-high 12 points for the Lady Tigers.

Box scores

VARSITY

Cabool 12 12 16 14 — 54

Houston 14 13 5 21 — 53

CABOOL (54) — Candace Fox 6. Tori Richardson 14. Taylor Stillwell 3. Jamie Reaves 21. Julia Reaves 10. FG 18. FT 15-25. F 12. (3-pointers: Richardson 3)

HOUSTON (53) — Alexa Ichord 8. Tory Burgess 8. Kenzie Scheets 3. Amber Sillyman 9. Haylee Kell 2. Emilee Reese 2. Erica Keeney 16. Elizabeth Hayes 5. FG 20. FT 7-20. F 19. (3-pointers: Sillyman 3, Burgess 2, Scheets. Fouled out: Burgess)

JUNIOR VARSITY

Cabool 1 3 6 5 — 15

Houston 12 14 15 5 — 46

HOUSTON (46) — Allie Preheim 4. Alissa Bowlin 9. Sierra Weaver 6. Kaitlyn Neal 12. Sydney Cremer 4. Kayla Guynn 1. Maddie Vandiver 2. Kayla Herndon 8. FG 17. FT 10-16. F 19. (3-pointers: Bowlin)

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