Having a rescheduled ball game fall on the day after an exhausting conference battle has all the makings of a trap game.
Unfortunately, that trap fell and landed squarely on Titan Gym Saturday afternoon.
The McDowell Lady Titans could not overcome a slow first half and dropped their second game in a 24-hour period, losing 41-26 to the Mitchell Lady Mountaineers.
The loss drops the Lady Titans (3-4) back under the .500 mark on the season and is their second consecutive loss after having won three of four prior to that. The loss also continues a quirky trend the past three seasons between the two geographical rivals: The road team has won each of the last five matchups on the hardwood.
Mitchell (5-1) was playing its first game in 10 days due to the recent winter storm that interrupted the Lady Mountaineers schedule. So naturally, both teams had a tough time getting much going in the first half.
The Lady Titans held the lead briefly in the first quarter at 5-3, but that changed when Hannah McMahan drained a 3-pointer at the 4:02 mark from the left corner giving Mitchell a 6-5 advantage, the lead was never relinquished.
The Lady Mountaineers accounted for six of the last eight points scored in the first quarter, and then an 11-4 second quarter advantage put McDowell further in a hole.
The addition of foul trouble Lady Titans’ frontcourt players Hayley Creasman and Lily McKinney also put them at a disadvantage in the half.
After the break, Mitchell point guard Eden Phillips made the first two baskets of the second half, giving the visitors their largest advantage at 27-11 with 6:47 left in the third quarter.
McDowell did attempt to get back in the contest and trimmed the deficit down as low as eight points on a couple stints in the second half, but never got any closer than that.
No players on either team placed in double figures.
Dezi Williams led McDowell with seven points and three rebounds. Candace Cooper and Makayla Brewer had five points each. Creasman netted four points. McKinney (4 rebounds), Emma Banks and Silese Carson finished with two points apiece. McDowell as a unit made just 10 field goals.
Morgan Buchanan led Mitchell with nine points and was dominant in the paint, finishing with 17 rebounds, 10 of them in the first half. McMahan (5 rebounds) and Phillips (5 assists) added eight points each. The Lady Mountaineers held a 37-28 advantage on the boards.
McDowell jumps back into Northwestern Conference play tonight (Tuesday) at St. Stephens (4 p.m. jayvee girls).