“It is exciting to watch them gel as a team at the right time,” said coach Vernessa Gates after the Lady Toppers picked up two more district wins last week.
The Houston girls have been on a positive roll that is based largely on a balanced floor.
“The girls have really been stepping up and playing good team ball,” Gates said. “I think in both games (last week) we almost played everyone on the bench.”
The team effort paid off Jan. 21 as the team hosted Noxubee County and trailed 24-29 at the half.
Davianna Pulliam and Tori Ford both scored and Pulliam hit the bottom of the net from the line twice to pull the Lady Toppers within one. Amber Frison’s steal and dish to Ashley Conner for two kept them there at 34-35 to close the third.
The Lady Toppers struggled at the charity stripe to start the fourth and the Lady Tigers opened up another five-point lead. But the Lady Toppers regrouped with Teria Crawford nailing two from the line to cut the gap and Frison’s layup closing it to one. Ford’s trip to the line gave the Lady Toppers the tie and go-ahead bucket and free throws from Pulliam and Jasmine Myles extended it to a three-point lead which the Lady Toppers held for a 50-47 win.
Gates, although pleased with the overall effort, still sees improvements to be made.
“The girls are working hard to increase their free-throw percentages and limit the number of turnovers per game,” Gates said.
The Lady Toppers took another district win on the road Friday as they knocked off West Lauderdale, 51-48.
On the boy’s side of the court, the Toppers fell to Noxubee, 57-66, and lost to West Lauderdale, 36-61.
The road to tournament is still packed with division games for the Houston teams as they were set to host Caledonia Tuesday and will hit the road to Carthage to take on Leake Central Jan. 31.