The HHS Lady Tigers pose with the third-place plaque Saturday night from the Mansfield Invitational. 

The Houston Lady Tigers are streaking in a winning direction.

HHS continued its strong play last week with a third-place finish in the Mansfield Invitational. The Lady Tigers were seeded seventh in the eight-team field.

Houston has won five of its last seven games to turn its season around from a 1-7 start. That stretch also includes a third-place finish in the Thayer Winter Classic.

“We are starting to understand some things and playing much better,” HHS coach Jim Moore said. “The girls are buying into the defensive end of the floor and rebounding much better. We do those two things and we will be in most games.”

HHS (7-11) concluded its most recent tournament Saturday night with a dominating 59-44 win against Norwood — a team that won the first matchup 44-35 in mid-December. The Lady Tigers had a 42-25 advantage in the second half to pull away.

Senior Kaitlyn Root, who was named to the all-tournament team, scored 24 points to pace the HHS offense. Chloe Hunninghake scored 13 to reach double figures in all three tournament games.

In Tuesday’s opener, Houston knocked off No. 2 Conway 39-32. Hunninghake hit four 3-pointers en route to a team-high 16 points. Root added 12.

After scoring one point in the second quarter to fall behind, the Lady Tigers outscored Conway 27-18 in the second half.

In Thursday’s semifinals, Houston fell just short of another upset as third-seeded Mansfield survived 50-49 in overtime.

Root scored 21 points and Hunninghake, who hit three triples, scored 14. Sevanna Rowland had eight.

“We are hitting some shots from the perimeter which is opening up the inside,” Moore said.

Houston led 22-21 at the half and had a five-point advantage entering the fourth quarter. It was tied 42-all after regulation.

Root fouled out in overtime and Hunninghake made 1-of-2 free throws with no time left as the Lady Tigers’ upset bid fell short.


Saturday’s game

Houston 5 12 17 25 – 59

Norwood 12 7 8 17 – 44

HOUSTON (59) – Kaitlyn Root 24. Carly Crawford 6. Sevanna Rowland 5. Ally Morgan 7. Chloe Hunninghake 13. Kennedy Campbell 4. FG 17. FT 21-32. F 31. (3-pointers: Crawford 2, Hunninghake, Campbell. Fouled out: none).

Thursday’s game

Houston 4 18 9 11 7 – 49

Mansfield 14 7 5 16 8 – 50

HOUSTON (49) – Kaitlyn Root 21. Kelly Hubbs 6. Sevanna Rowland 8. Chloe Hunninghake 14. FG 19. FT 5-6. F 18. (3-pointers: Hunninghake 3, Hubbs 2, Rowland. Fouled out: Root).

Tuesday’s game

Houston 11 1 14 13 – 39

Conway 9 5 11 7 – 32

HOUSTON (30) – Kaitlyn Root 12. Sevanna Rowland 5. Chloe Hunninghake 16. Ally Morgan 6. FG 11. FT 13-16. F 7. (3-pointers: Hunninghake 4. Fouled out: none).

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