Lady Tigers also struggle during conference matchups
It was a rough week for the Mountain Home Lady Tigers last week as they watched leads that vanished against both Nampa and Caldwell turn into losses.
Nampa 55, Mountain Home 49
The Mountain Home Lady Tigers let one get away from them Wednesday night when they lost to Nampa 55-49 in conference girls basketball at Lloyd Schiller Gymnasium.
The Lady Tigers, who were coming off two impressive wins over Emmett and Columbia last week, got off to another great start against Nampa, a team that beat them 56-35 at Nampa a month and a half ago.
Mountain Home had a couple runs to take a 14-11 lead into the second quarter and built its lead to 24-16 midway through the second quarter. Nampa then went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 24-24 with under a minute left in the half, but baskets by Selena Foster and Tracey Gordon pushed the Lady Tigers to a 28-24 halftime advantage.
An 8-0 run by Nampa to start the third quarter put the Lady Tigers down 32-28, but they rallied again to take a 43-38 lead into the final period.
A trey by Madi Karst to start the fourth quarter upped Mountain Home's lead to 46-38. Karst hit one of two free throws at the 5:17 mark to make it 47-42, Mountain Home, but the Lady Tigers went cold and did not score another field goal the rest of the way.
Nampa then went on a 9-0 run to go up 51-47.
Jacci Cristobal hit two free throws with 2:12 left to cut the deficit to 51-49, but Nampa sank four of six free throws the rest of the way to win 55-49.
"We weren't getting the looks that we wanted towards the end of the game. They switched up on that zone and went back to that press," said Mountain Home coach Brent Keener. "We'd break it and then just kind of take a quick shot, instead of running our offense. Even when we had that three-four point lead, we jacked up a couple threes, shots that probably weren't the best, and then a little too much (Danielle) Jardine at the end.
"It was obviously tough without Whitney (Sandberg) tonight, and then Tessa (Pachner) fouled out about midway through the fourth, so that's tough with a six-man rotation," the coach added. "But the girls played hard and they competed -- played them a lot better than we did at Nampa."
Madi Karst led the Lady Tigers with a season and career-high 15 points. Selena Foster netted 12 and had 13 rebounds. Jacci Cristobal added six points, Marissa Streeter, Mattie Bennett, Tracey Gordon and Tessa Pachner all scored four points and Gordon had 10 rebounds.
Mountain Home made just one of 15 shots from the field in the fourth quarter to end the night shooting 29 percent, including three of 10 three-pointers. They hit 10 of 14 free throws for 71 percent.
Nampa shot 31 percent from the field, including four of 16 long balls. They hit a dismal 46 percent from the foul line.
Caldwell 51, Mountain Home 50
Friday night's game against Caldwell saw the Lady Tigers once again blow the lead in the fourth quarter as they lost to the Lady Cougars 51-50 in Lloyd Schiller Gymnasium.
Mountain Home led 15-10 after a quarter and fell behind 22-19 with a minute left in the first half before going on a 5-0 run to end the quarter and take a 24-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Lady Tigers built on their lead and took a 40-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
Then, like Wednesday night's game against Nampa, they went cold from the field, hitting just three of 16 (19 percent) shots.
Caldwell took the lead, 48-47, with 1:25 left, and stretched it to two, 49-47, with 28.7 seconds left.
Jacci Cristobal hit a trey with 14 seconds left to put Mountain Home ahead 50-49, but Caldwell's Koralee Bower sank two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to put Caldwell back ahead, 51-50.
Jacci Cristobal threw up a shot just inside the midcourt line at the buzzer that fell short, and Caldwell left with a 51-50 win.
"That was a tough one to lose, especially when you hit that three to go ahead," said Coach Keener after the game. "We had that play kind of drawn up. We weren't all on the same page, but we had two plays -- one versus a zone and one versus a man defense. There were three of us that knew it was a zone and two of us that thought it was man, but we got the look we wanted and she (Jacci) knocked it down.
"And then, I don't know, I guess it's just high school basketball," the coach added. "I thought we let that girl get a little too far unimpeded. I don't know if she really got fouled, but he (the official) said she hit her in the face. I thought we were in a decent position to help. I don't know. It was a gutsy call to make. You'd better be sure of it, which I guess he felt he was."
Selena Foster led the Lady Tigers in scoring against Caldwell with 11 points and had 13 rebounds. Meanwhile, Jacci Cristobal added nine points, Tracey Gordon eight, Whitney Sandberg had seven, Mattie Bennett six, Madi Karst five and Marissa Streeter four.
Mountain Home shot 31 percent from the field, including four of 19 on trey attempts. They shot a dismal 36 percent from the free-throw line.
Caldwell shot 38 percent from the field, hitting two of nine long balls. They hit 59 percent of their free throws.
With the losses, the Lady Tigers fell to 5-7 in league play, and 5-11 overall. They hosted Skyview on Tuesday and travel to Bishop Kelly Friday night for another girls-boys doubleheader as they take on the Lady Knights at 6 p.m.