COLBERT — The Lady Leopards have now won three straight games, taking another physical but determined victory on Tuesday.
Colbert had to fight back against a scrappy Hugo team as the Lady Buffs took an early 11-6 lead and had the game tied late in the third. But Ginavee Mowles lit up the nets in the fourth to help the Lady Leopards to a 45-37 win.
“When she hit those threes, it finally gave us some breathing room,” said Colbert Coach Chris Gillespie after Mowles nailed a trio from downtown in the late minutes. “But we got into playing out of control and really struggled to score. (Hugo) is really athletic, and we played more to their style.”
Mowles led all scorers with 18 and was helped by Darian Bradford’s eight points. Samantha Cummins, Katherine Hair and Haylie McGowan each scored five for Colbert, and Taytiana Gray had a basket.
Colbert went up 4-0 before an 11-2 run for the Lady Buffaloes. Hugo kept the pressure up by blocking shots and creating turnovers before the Lady Leopards were able to tie the game 18-18 at the break.
Colbert had a three-point lead going into the fourth when Mowles started her attack. Hugo’s Sarah Simpson hit a three to spark a five-point Lady Buff run but Mowles padded the lead with another three.
Ahead by six, Bradford hit a free throw but missed another. The rebound was grabbed by Hair for a critical home possession in the final 90 seconds. Colbert has now defeated Calera, Caddo and Hugo to start 2013 undefeated.
The win streak comes after Colbert lost four straight, including a home game against Kiowa and three games at the Tournament of Champions in Tulsa. The Lady Leopards are now 13-4, and ranked fourth in one poll and sixth in another among Class 2A teams.
In those rankings, they are only looking up at teams with a single loss and undefeated Northeast Academy. The Lady Leopards will visit Silo on Friday and are looking forward to the Bryan County Tournament starting next week.
Hugo boys 53 Colbert 33
Unrelenting defense on both sides marked the first half of Tuesday’s game between Colbert and the sixth-ranked Hugo Buffaloes of Class 3A. But too much Nick Brown in the fourth quarter doomed the Leopards to a 53-33 loss at the hands of the Buffs.
Caleb Shoemake opened the game with a downtown money ball for an early 3-0 Colbert lead. But Hugo would respond with solid inside play and a pair of their own threes to take a 16-10 lead after one quarter.
The Buffaloes shut down Colbert in the second quarter until a Peyton Whitehead basket in the final seconds. The 9-2 run gave Hugo a comfortable 25-12 halftime lead.
Charles Adams scored nine points in the second half, helping the Leopards get within reach before the wheels came off in the fourth. Technicals were called on both sides, but the real control was in the hands of Hugo’s speedy Nick Brown.
Brown went steal-crazy, getting to the line often and breaking away for 14 points in the fourth quarter. He scored a game-high 19.
After Cole’s nine points, James Hair had eight, Shoemake and Whitehead finished with six, while Trevor Cole and Preston Rice had two each.
Coach Tony Robinson’s Leopards are now 5-11 on the season, and they will face the potent Silo Rebels on Friday night.