ABILENE — The May Lady Tigers have been on a historical run this season, as they entered Friday night’s Region II-A semifinal ranked No. 9 in the state and, up to that point, had posted a 25-6 record overall. So when they faced No. 14 O’Donnell at ACU’s Moody Coliseum Friday night, many expected that run to continue on.
Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, their season came to a close after a long, hard fought battle that saw O’Donnell advance with a 61-43 victory.
O’Donnell struck first on the night after a foul sent them to the free throw line, but the 1-0 lead that they had didn’t last long. May posted seven points in less than a minute span, with five of those coming from sophomore Kaylee Harris.
The Lady Eagles struck back with a three pointer of their own, followed by May scoring less than 20 seconds later.
Then things got a little sloppy for the Lady Tigers and O’Donnell took advantage. O’Donnell scored 12 unanswered points, with half of those credited to free throws from fouls called against May.
Regardless of that, the Lady Tigers still kept it close thanks to yet another three pointer by Harris, with the score being 16-12 at the end of the first.
O’Donnell came out hot in the second period, however, outscoring May 18-7 during those eight minutes. Mental mistakes by the Lady Tigers, including botched passes and bad shots, gave the Lady Eagles plenty of opportunities which they took full advantage of.
At the end of the half it wasn’t looking good for May as O’Donnell led 34-19.
In the third quarter things seemed to be looking up and in the first half of the period as the Lady Tigers handily outscored the Lady Eagles. Harris once again was the main contributor this time, adding six points in just four minutes.
Yet again though, bad decisions and mistakes began to pile up and, once again, O’Donnell took advantage. In the final few minutes of the third O’Donnell padded its lead by adding eight points, with most of those coming off turnovers.
It was 46-32 to start the fourth and things continued to go downhill for May. Fouls began adding up and both Yary Rodriguez and Kelsie Gage ended up fouling out before it was all said and done.
With just under two minutes to go, O’Donnell led by as many as 18 points. At this point, the Lady Tigers were shooting as many long range balls as possible, hoping to put three points on the board each time, but it didn’t work out.
In the end, O’Donnell’s fast paced offense and physical defense was just too much.