It took a scoring surge in the fourth quarter for Langston Hughes to put away the Lady Tigers. The game was dominated, early on by DC. They found ways to penetrate the Langston Hughes defense, while also hitting a couple shots from the outside.
The Lady Panthers did not help their cause, missing several inside shots, highlighting DC's ability to effectively defend down low. Langston Hughes cleaned up their early mess to make it a game, trailing DC 17-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw a lot of scrappy defensive play on both sides, resulting in several turnovers, as well as several free throw opportunities. DC got most of their field goals from the paint, led by Maya Benham. Langston Hughes' problem was not forcing turnovers, but converting the turnovers into points. As a result, the Lady Tigers extended their lead, entering halftime up 30-24.
DC maintained their lead throughout the third quarter. The Lady Tigers relied on their defensive pressure to force turnovers in the backcourt, leading to transition points.
DC guard Santasia Faust was a nightmare for the opposing guards, picking their pockets for several steals. Benham had her best quarter of the game, scoring nine in the third. As the game entered its final quarter, DC held on to a five point lead, 48-43.
It appeared DC had it all wrapped up in the fourth. The lead even reached double digits in the opening minutes of the quarter. Using one of the sports' oldest and most used phrases “it ain't over till it's over”, Langston Hughes fought back with talent and attitude.
Lady Panthers' guard Tia Jones, who was scoreless heading into the fourth, scored 12 points in the final eight minutes. Things that were going DC's way throughout the game completely halted. A few missed free throws later and Langston Hughes took the lead and never looked back.
Benham led all scoring in the loss with 21.
The loss gives the Lady Tigers the second seed out of the region. They will host the first round of the state tourney on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The boys lost in their third place game to Westlake, 97-83.
The final score on the boy's scoreboard might appear as a blowout, but the actual play did not reflect it. Although the DC boys got off to a relatively flat start, they would eventually exert some aggressiveness on both sides of the court.
The team was led by Justin Bridges who was absolutely brilliant for the bulk of the game. Not only was Bridges knocking down shots from all over the floor, but he was also an effective communicator, helping set up plays as well as bringing some resilient attitude when they were down.
In the end, the high low threat of Westlake guard Anthony Bagtas and forward Andre Elam was too much for the Tiger defense to contain consistently. The duo combined for 60 points, with both involved in every possession. This, added with Westlake's physical defensive play and fluidity on the offensive side, pushed the team to victory. Bagtas led all scoring with 34, closely followed by Bridges' performance with 32.
The boys claimed the fourth seed out of the region and will be on the road on Wednesday for their first round state tourney game.