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Chaquesda Florence reached the free throw line 14 times on Monday--Cody Estremera

Valley girls downed at home by Harris County

Free throws were the issue for the Valley girls’ team in its 51-34 loss to Harris County High School on Monday.

“When you miss free throws, you can’t win a ball game,” assistant coach Trish Watson said. “We missed [12] free throws. Look at the score. Too many mental mistakes.”

When they weren’t missing their free throws, the Lady Rams were allowing the Tigers to get to the line, as they finished 10-of-19 from the line.

After the first quarter, the teams were tied at nine, but the Tigers exploded in the second quarter. They outscored the Lady Rams by 12 in the quarter, most of which was due to the center ZiKeyah Carter-Ransom, who stands 6-foot-5.

Carter-Ransom had only one point in the first quarter but found her touch in the second. She had 12 in the second quarter, doubling the Lady Rams’ score in the eight-minute quarter.

“When you’re playing a kid that is taller than you, you’re going to have to get in front of her and behind her and keep her hands up,” Watson said. “That was a hard job, but they did pretty good on that.”

The Lady Rams struggled in the first half to limit their turnovers, since the Tigers were pressing most of the first half. This led to quick points for the Tigers’ guards, mainly Sydney Stewart, who scored five of her eight points in the first quarter.

Besides Carter-Ransom, the Lady Rams were able to contain the Tigers, as they scored only 13 points when going away from the 6-foot-5 center.

Entering the fourth quarter, Valley was down 38-22.

Watson and fellow assistant coach Latisha Trammell-Mangram decided to make a switch in the defense. Instead of the 2-3 zone, they went man-to-man.

That sparked a comeback, as they cut the deficit down to single digits.

“That’s the only way to get back in the ball game,” Watson said. “We started playing better defense. When we went to man, we started to score more.”

Chaquesda Florence led the team in scoring, finishing with 15 points, five of which were in the fourth quarter. Jayla Lancaster finished with five points, while Arienna Magby added six points.

Aanjiah Patrick and Kenda Watson provided the scoring off the bench with a combined five points. 

The Lady Rams are back in action on Tuesday, when they host Bullock County High School.