First-year HHS girls' basketball coach Jim Moore talks to his team during a fourth-quarter huddle Saturday.

CABOOL – The Houston Lady Tigers lost their season opener Saturday in heart-breaking fashion.

Fordland’s Sophie Sparks banked in a 3-pointer from several feet behind the line as time expired to lift the Lady Eagles to a 48-46 victory against HHS in the “Here for Hoops” shootout at Cabool.

Houston (0-1) was unable to hang onto an eight-point fourth-quarter advantage in their debut under first-year coach Jim Moore. The Lady Tigers missed two free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining before Sparks’ heroics.

Senior Jaydin Ramsey led three HHS players in double figures with 18 points. She hit all three of the team’s triples. Kaitlyn Root scored 15 points and Abby Casper added 10.

Sparks led Fordland with a game-high 22 points. The Lady Eagles hit seven 3-pointers. 

Behind 12 second-quarter points from Ramsey, Houston led 27-22 at the half. 

The Lady Tigers, who were ahead by four entering the final quarter, led 41-33 when Root scored on an inbound pass with 6 minutes, 43 seconds left in the game. 

Houston didn’t get another field goal until Root scored with two minutes remaining to make it 46-42. Sparks answered with a 3-pointer to pull Fordland within one.

Fordland missed four straight free throws with the chance to tie it or take the lead. Houston, which was 11-for-20 at the foul line, missed two attempts to set up Sparks’ game winner.

BOX SCORE

Houston   13   14   10   9   –   46

Fordland   14   8   11   15   –   48

HOUSTON (46) – Kaitlyn Root 15. Abby Casper 10. Ally Morgan 2. Jaydin Ramsey 18. Emily Shea 1. FG 16. FT 11-20. (3-pointers: Ramsey 3. Fouled out: Stephani Crewse).

FORDLAND (48) – Danielle Bailey 5. Brooke Hyder 2. Emily Whiteford 5. Abi Southard 12. Sparks 22. FG 17. FT 5-16. (3-pointers: Sparks 5, 20, 23. Fouled out: none).

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