By Tony A. Archuleta
The Hot Springs varsity girls basketball team won its home opener Saturday, Nov. 22, in Tiger Gym, defeating visiting Cliff 47-44.
Cliff, which has been mostly dominant against the Lady Tigers in recent years, found itself in mostly uncharted territory, as the Tigers took a 32-15 point lead into the halftime locker room.
The Tigers were still leading 42-32 after the third quarter, and in the fourth quarter, the Cowgirls made a series of comebacks, but never managed to tie or lead the game.
When Cliff came within 44-41 at the three-minute mark, junior guard Madison Smith drove the baseline and scored on a reverse lay-up to give the Tigers a five-point lead.
Both teams struggled in the turnover and free-throw shooting departments late in the game.
Hot Springs could have sealed the win in the final minutes, but two misfires on the front end of one-and-ones gave Cliff a chance.
Forced to foul, the Cowgirls, trailing 46-44, sent senior guard Maria Chavez to the free-throw line. The senior guard made her second free-throw to give the Tigers a three-point lead with 11.9 showing on the clock.
Cobre called a timeout with 8.4 seconds left, and drew up a play for a three-point shot to tie the game.
Cliff’s baseline shot from three-point range hit the front iron, took one suspenseful bounce upward and fell away as time expired.
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