A Class 3A team in the big-dog tournament, Hitchcock nearly overcame a slow start and cold shooting against Ball High in each team’s tournament opener, but the Lady Tors prevailed for a 49-44 win at Clear Creek High School.

“We missed shots we usually make, and when we picked up our energy, we couldn’t sustain it,” Hitchcock head coach Andrew Hubbell said.

Ball High got out to a 7-0 lead, and led by as much as 25-10 midway through the second quarter. But the Lady Tors got into foul trouble, and the Lady Bulldogs made use of their free throw opportunities and scored eight unanswered points, all from the charity stripe.

A midrange bucket from Deasja Fury cut the Lady Tors’ lead to 25-20 early in the third quarter, but Ball High’s Nina Kovach answered with a jumper to end a Hitchcock 10-0 run. A 9-2 run capped by an Irish Winn bucket tied the score at 29-29 later in the third frame.

A basket from Ari Smith gave Ball High a 38-31 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Hitchcock again rallied to tie the game on a 9-2 run led by four points from Fury. Hanging on to a 46-44 lead late in the final period, Kovach came through with a dagger, converting a 3-point play the old-fashioned way.

“The girls worked hard on defense, and I’m very proud of them,” Ball High head coach Amanda King said.

Ball High got a balanced scoring effort led by Kovach and Bebe Galloway with 9 points each. Winn had a game-high 12 points for Hitchcock, while Taivionna Daniels, Taylor Kendrick and Fury had 8 points each.

Hitchcock bounced back in its next game, edging out Richmond George Ranch, 48-42. Daniels (11 points), Majesty Otems (10 points), Winn (10 points) and Fury (8 points) led the way. The Lady Bulldogs are back on the court 10:30 a.m. today in Gym 3.

Ball High led Clear Lake through three quarters in its next game, but the Falcons rallied for a 37-31 win. Galloway had 13 points, and Smith had 10 points to lead the Lady Tors, who will resume the tournament at Butler Gym at 3 p.m. today.

It wasn’t pretty in Clear Falls’ tournament opener, but the Knights picked up a 52-48 win over a tough Magnolia West squad.

“We’ve definitely played better, and I bet you they’ve played better, too,” Clear Falls head coach Shannon Osborne said. “Our kids just didn’t quit. While we didn’t play great, our kids were able to knock down a couple free throws to keep us in the game.”

A close game throughout (13 lead changes, eight ties), Magnolia West made only one of its final 12 free throw attempts (including one of 10 in the fourth quarter) to help the Knights escape with the win.

Down 45-42, the Knights went on an 8-1 run capped by a clutch midrange bucket by Piper Stephenson.

Clear Falls was led by Jessica Epting (18 points, six rebounds), Anita Parrott (9 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) and Madison Lussier (7 points, 12 rebounds). Each team committed 25 fouls and shot 34 free throws in the game.

The Knights were not as fortunate in their next game, falling to Manvel, 54-39. They’ll be back in action 3 p.m. today at Carlisle Field House.

Clear Creek won its lone game of the day, 43-32, over Willis. The Wildcats resume the tournament 10:30 a.m. today at Butler Gym.

Clear Springs went 1-1 on the day, with a 60-11 blowout of Tomball preceding a 56-54 defeat against Fort Bend Ridge Point. The Chargers are back in action 3 p.m. today at Butler Gym.

James LaCombe: 409-683-5242, james.lacombe@galvnews.com or on Twitter @JamesAtGalvNews

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