Amber Sillyman’s flurry of points gave the Houston Lady Tigers some much-needed offense in a critical moment.
With HHS clinging to an 18-17 third-quarter lead Monday against Salem, Sillyman buried a 3-pointer, stole the ensuing inbound pass and scored while being fouled. The instant offense in the span of a few seconds provided six important points in a low-scoring game as the Lady Tigers eventually pulled away for a 44-28 victory inside Hiett Gymnasium.
“Amber had some big plays to get us going,” HHS coach Brent Kell said.
Sillyman, who made the free throw after being fouled, gave the Lady Tigers (3-6) six quick points after they had managed just 18 the entire first half. Teammate Haylee Kell followed with a drive and left-handed layin to push the advantage to nine points and create some breathing room.
“Sometimes a minute or two is the difference between a 10-point run and going down six points,” Brent Kell said. “When we have the momentum, we’ve got to make positive plays to extend leads.”
Alexa Ichord led Houston with 10 points. Sillyman hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored nine.
The Lady Tigers, who lost 54-43 Thursday at Dora following a 16-day holiday break, won for the first time since beating Newburg on Dec. 12.
“The kids haven’t given up at all,” Kell said. “They’re wanting to get better.”
Ichord and Kenzie Scheets had consecutive first-quarter baskets to give Houston an early five-point advantage. Salem pulled even at 16-all late in the second quarter before Haylee Kell’s drive and basket put Houston ahead 18-16 at the half.
The Lady Tigers were ahead by one following a free throw before Sillyman’s triple and old-fashioned three-point play sparked an 8-0 run. Salem never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
“I thought we grew up a little as far as being physical,” Brent Kell said. “At times, when people put hands on us and push us around, we kind of back down. I didn’t feel like we did that at all.”
Kell credited the HHS student section with providing his team a lift.
“They made a difference as far as giving us some energy to play off of,” he said.
On Thursday, freshman Kylee Elmore had a team-best nine points in Houston’s loss at Dora.
The Lady Tigers trailed by three entering the fourth quarter before they were outscored 18-10.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Sierra Weaver scored seven points and Maddie Vandiver had six in the JV Lady Tigers’ 34-23 loss Monday to Salem.
On Thursday, Weaver and Kaylea Preheim had five points apiece in Houston’s 32-17 loss at Dora.
SALEM (28) — Kaytlyn Wells 10. Savannah Hanning 2. Kristin Hemken 1. Cortney Putman 4. Gabby Sanderson 2. Ashley Crocker 4. Bailey Barnes 2. Darian Grogan 3. FG 11. FT 5-11. F 17. (3-pointers: Grogan. Fouled out: none).
HOUSTON (44) — Alexa Ichord 10. Alissa Bowlin 5. Kylee Elmore 7. Kenzie Scheets 5. Amber Sillyman 9. Haylee Kell 4. Kayla Herndon 1. Elizabeth Hayes 3. FG 16. FT 9-13. F 16. (3-pointers: Sillyman 2, Scheets. Fouled out: none).
HOUSTON (43) — Alexa Ichord 6. Alissa Bowlin 8. Kylee Elmore 9. Kenzie Scheets 5. Amber Sillyman 3. Haylee Kell 4. Kayla Herndon 2. Sydney Cremer 4. Elizabeth Hayes 2. FG 16. FT 9-22. F 23. (3-pointers: Elmore, Sillyman. Fouled out: Ichord, Hayes).
DORA (54) — Harris 7. Land 10. Olmsted 6. Roberts 4. Smith 14. Kelley 9. Collins 4. FG 17. FT 14-26. F 21. (3-pointers: Land 2, Smith 2, Roberts, Kelley. Fouled out: Harris, Land).
HOUSTON (23) — Sierra Weaver 7. Maddie Vandiver 6. Olivia Woosley 2. Kayla Guynn 2. Kaylea Preheim 3. Nora Dixon 3. FG 8. FT 6-11. F 15. (3-pointers: Preheim. Fouled out: Weaver).
HOUSTON (17) — Sierra Weaver 5. Maddie Vandiver 1. Kayla Herndon 4. Kaylea Preheim 5. Nora Dixon 2. FG 6. FT 4-6. F 10. (3-pointers: Preheim. Fouled out: none).