HHS senior guard Aliyah Walker makes a move to the basket during the fourth quarter of an SCA game against Liberty Tuesday in Houston's New Gym. Credit: DOUG DAVISON | HOUSTON HERALD

In a game featuring multiple momentum swings and a double-digit lead in the first half, the Houston High School girls basketball team fell 49-48 to Liberty in a South Central Association conference contest Tuesday in the New Gym.

Houston took an 8-4 lead at the outset of the game on three short bank shots by senior forward Olivia Crites and a driving layup by senior guard Makenzi Arthur. The Lady Tigers held the same advantage at the end of the first quarter, leading 16-12.

But Liberty stormed back with a 16-1 run to open the second period and led 28-17 after a put-back bucket by sophomore guard Hadley Chowning with 1:33 showing on the clock.

After trailing 30-20 at halftime, Houston turned the tables in the third quarter and tied the score at 40-all on a 3-point basket by senior guard Aliyah Walker with 1:35 remaining in the period.

Houston sophomore forward Sophia Crites prepares to shoot from the lane while being guarded by Liberty senior Chloe Kelts during the first quarter of the Lady Tigers’ loss on Tuesday.

The two squads then exchanged blows down the stretch before the Lady Eagles escaped with the win.

Arthur sank two treys in the game and scored 13 points for the Lady Tigers, while Crites poured in 9 points in the first quarter and also finished with 13. Walker had 9 points for Houston, while sophomore forward Sophia Crites added 7.

Chowning and junior guard Reagan Wells scored 16 points apiece for Liberty, while senior guard Sydnee LeFevers had 8 and senior forward Lyla Cornman added 7.

Olivia Crites was in foul trouble for much of the contest and had to spend extended periods on the bench, picking up her third foul midway through the second quarter and her fourth with 6:56 left in the third quarter before fouling out with 6:24 remaining in the game.

Houston (11-11, 1-4 SCA) hosts county rival Plato on Thursday (Feb. 9).

The Lady Tigers will be busy with SCA games next week, traveling to Ava Monday, hosting Cabool Tuesday and wrapping up the regular season schedule Thursday (Feb. 16) at Willow Springs.

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Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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