“ The girls showed a lot of character,” TC Central head coach Robert Duncan said. “It is always a tough challenge playing against a county rival and a good program such as Munford. I just really praise the girls for the character that they showed there in the fourth quarter.
“They could have easily hung their heads. I knew they were a little winded, but they dug down and got something extra and pulled it out. That says a lot about our group of girls.”
The Lady Fighting Tigers (3-3) trailed 32-31 going into the fourth quarter, but turned up the defensive intensity in the final period.
The Lady Fighting Tigers forced two turnovers to start the period, but they were unable to turn them into points. TC Central went 1-6 from the free throw line to start the quarter. Senior Zana Wallace scored their first field goal of the quarter on a lay up to tie it at 34-34 with 5:46 left.
Ra’Aunna Caldwell drove down the length of the court for a lay up to put Munford back on top 36-34.
Savona Garrett sparked a 5-0 run to put the Lady Fighting Tigers ahead 40-36.
Caldwell drained a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 40-38 with 3:26 left.
Tiarrial Duncan’s 3-point play increased TC Central’s lead to 43-38.
Garrett scored four straight points to give TC Central a 47-38 lead with 1:40 left.
Wallace sealed the victory for TC Central with an easy lay up to make it 51-38.
“We played 27 good minutes of basketball,” Munford head coach Ann Hopkins said. ”Right up until there were five minutes left in the game when we began to fall apart and look sloppy. A lot of that has to do with our inexperience and that we are so young.
“I am very proud of the girls and I feel like we have gotten better every game. TC is a very good team and we knew that coming in. They are one of the tougher teams on our schedule. Coach Duncan is really doing a good job for us. We feel like we probably got better tonight, but we have more things that we need to work on. We are going to get to work.”
Wallace got things going for TC Central in the first quarter. She scored six of its first eight points, and her four-point play gave TC Central an 8-5 advantage. After missing her first few shots, Duncan began to find her stroke.
The sophomore scored eight straight points for the to help them take a 16-11 lead into the second quarter.
Caldwell scored five points to help the Lady Lions go into intermission tied at 22.
Caldwell led the way for Munford with 21 points.
“I am really proud of … the way that she is leading our team,” Hopkins said. “ She gives 110 percent effort all the time. She never backs down from a challenge and I am really proud of that. I think that is going to take us a long way.”
TC Central had three players in double-digits. Duncan led the way with 19 points.
Wallace and Garrett scored 11 points apiece.
“That is big for our team to get other people scoring in double digits,” Duncan said. “It puts a lot of pressure on Tiarrial to tout the load night in and night out. Sometime we forget that she is just a sophomore. She really stepped up to the challenge and put the offensive load on her shoulders. We are just thankful for this group of girls working so hard.”
Munford returns to action tonight at Talladega at 6 p.m.
TC Central travels to take on Talladega on Saturday at 5:30 p.m