Playing one of their cleanest games of the season, the Houston High School Lady Tigers topped Willow Springs 68-58 in a South Central Association basketball game Wednesday in Hiett Gymnasium.

Leading 28-21 at halftime, Houston racked up 22 points in the third quarter to take a 50-36 advantage into the final period.

In recording their first SCA win of the season and posting their highest points total of the campaign, the Lady Tigers committed fewer turnovers and sank a better percentage of field goals than usual. They also didn’t hurt themselves at the free throw line as much as they have on several occasions, sinking 20-of-29 attempts.

As the visiting Lady Bears were running low on time in the fourth quarter, they purposefully sent Houston players to the charity stripe with frequency. The Lady Tigers responded by going 11-for-17 from the line in the period.

Junior guard Jaden Stell had a hot hand from long range in the contest, connecting on four 3-pointers and finishing with a game-high 20 points. Sophomore guard Hannah Dzurick went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the contest (all in the second half) and scored 18 points, while freshman forward Karlee Curtis went 6-for-8 from the line and finished with 10 points and freshman guard Aliyah Walker added 9 (including 5 in the fourth quarter).

Sophomore guard Liz Sheehan led Willow Springs’ balanced scoring with 13 points, while four of her teammates scored 9 points apiece. The Lady Bears went 10-for-20 from the foul line in the game.

HHS head coach Jim Moore was out with the flu, so the Lady Tigers were guided by assistant coach (and former head coach) Brent Kell. The contest was a makeup game for one that was postponed due to wintry weather on Feb. 6.

The victory came on the heels of a 54-20 defeat at the hands of Salem in a Monday home game.

The Lady Tigers’ offense struggled from beginning to end in that contest, and they scored fewer than 10 points in all four quarters. Only four players scored for Houston, with Dzurick leading the way with 8 points.

Houston (8-15, 1-5 SCA) will wrap up the regular season with an SCA matchup today (Feb. 20) at Mountain Grove. The Lady Tigers will return to Mountain Grove this Saturday (Feb. 22) to face Liberty in the first round of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 District 4 tournament (4:30 p.m. tip off).

That game will be streamed live online at www.houstonherald.com/live.

The 2020 MSHSAA Class 3 District 4 girls basketball tournament bracket.

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