BROWNSVILLE – Entering this season, there were high expectations for Haywood’s girls’ basketball team.
The Lady Tomcats took two losses to start the season, and questions arose.
On Tuesday night, Haywood showed it was still on the right track to have a special season.
The Lady Tomcats beat South Side 95-86 in double overtime for a third straight win.
“Since those first two losses, we have made adjustments and figured out what works for us,” Haywood coach Whitney Baird said. “We are hungry, and these girls want it. We just have to continue to figure out how to do it.”
Haywood (3-2) was led by Jamirah Shutes with a game-high 41 points, and it was her free throws down the stretch that sealed the win.
The Lady Tomcats built a four-point lead in the first overtime, but South Side (4-2) came back to tie the game and send it to a second overtime.
With 2:25 left to play, Shutes converted a three-point play to give Haywood the 87-82 lead, and that lead stood.
“We were staying in control,” Baird said. “We were playing our game, and not playing their game in the second overtime.”
The Lady Tomcats outscored the Lady Hawks 15-6 in the second overtime.
Madison Smith added to the Haywood offense with 16 points, Wandarkyu Young had 12 points and Laquita Calloway had 11 points to finish out the four double-figure scorers for the Lady Tomcats.
South Side came out playing its usually hard-nosed defense and built a small lead midway through the first quarter.
But the Lady Tomcats finished the first quarter strong to get within one point and outscored the Lady Hawks 24-10 in the second quarter to open up a 13-point halftime lead.
South Side finally made its move in the fourth quarter, outscoring Haywood by 10 points to send the game to overtime.
“We jumped out to that lead at halftime, but we have a problem keeping a lead,” Baird said. “We still have work to do.”
Brakiya Champion led South Side with 20 points, while Asia Currie added 19 points and Nikindra Taylor and Cheyenne Cunningham had 14 points each.
South Side 74,
The Hawks (6-0) played much better defense in the final three quarters to come from behind to beat Haywood (3-2) in a rematch of last year’s Class AA sectional.
The Tomcats took a 25-17 lead after the first eight minutes, but they did not score 20 points in the final three quarters.
South Side was led by Dee Crews with 18 points. The Hawks had four players in double figures as Joshua Greer and Geordan Reed added 13 points each, and Terrandus Smith had 11 points.
Tristan Jarrett led Haywood with 22 points, while Shurayveun Hines added 17 points and Dedric Boyd had 15 points.
Michael Odom, 425-9754