Playing twice on the road last week, the Houston High School girls basketball team came away with a pair of losses, falling 57-33 in a South Central Association contest Monday at Ava and 55-48 in a nonconference game Friday at Koshkonong.

The Lady Tigers trailed 9-7 at the end of the first quarter at Ava, but the host Lady Bears outscored their guests 17-4 in the second period to take control.

Freshman guard Katie Chipps led Houston in scoring with 10 points (all in the second half), while sophomore guard Hannah Dzurick scored 6 points in the first quarter and finished with 8.

“We didn’t play well on either end of the floor,” said HHS head coach Jim Moore. “We turned the ball over too much and didn’t rebound like we are capable of.”  

Senior forward Claire Fossett led Ava in scoring with a game-high 14 points.

As has been the case on several occasions this season, the Lady Tigers struggled at the free throw line, sinking only 4-of-11 attempts.

At Koshkonong, Houston led most of the way but couldn’t finish the deal in the final period. The Lady Tigers were up 23-15 at halftime and held a 37-34 advantage at the end of the third quarter, but the host Lady Jays scored 21 points in the fourth period while Houston added only 11 more.

Junior guard Jaden Stell led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 13 points (including three treys), while Dzurick had 12 points and freshman forward Karlee Curtis added 9.

While Moore wasn’t happy with the loss, he thought his team performed well overall in what he called “an extremely physical ball game.”

“We played pretty well offensively and defensively,” Moore said. “We just didn’t finish in the fourth quarter.”

Foul shots were again an issue for the Lady Tigers, who went 5-for-14 from the stripe in the fourth quarter and 10-for-21 overall. Houston committed a couple of key turnovers late in the game. 

“Those two things were the difference in the final score,” Moore said. “We played hard and showed some good things, and we’ll keep pressing forward trying to improve.”

Tyra Gee knocked down two 3-pointers and went 7-for-8 from the foul line during the Lady Jays’ decisive third quarter run and finished with a game-high 20 points.

This week’s slate for the Lady Tigers includes a pair of nonconference matchups, including a Monday home game against Hartville and Thursday contest at Plato. Houston (7-12, 0-4 SCA through last week) will close out the regular season next week with a trio of SCA games. The Lady Tigers will host Salem on Monday and Willow Springs on Wednesday (a game that was rescheduled because of weather), and will travel to Mountain Grove on Thursday (Feb. 20).

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