Things didn’t start out as planned for Maiden on Friday night at Fred T. Foard. The Tigers quickly jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first quarter, but a second half resurgence by Maiden’s fast-paced offense and stifling defense gave the Blue Devils a 57-45 come-from-behind win.
“We got down early because we didn’t move the ball well,” said Maiden head coach Doug Miller. “We were just settling for 3s that weren’t really there, but we came out in the second half with a whole new mentality.”
Holden Cox and Jalen Gibbs, completely took over the second half for Maiden, which trailed 25-16 at halftime. The two big men led the offensive attack with a combined 19 second-half points, but they also came up with key rebounds that limited the Tigers to just 20 points during the final 16 minutes of the game.
Foard had a 38-18 advantage in rebounding at the half, but Maiden came out of intermission strong and out-rebounded the Tigers 25-12 in the second half.
The Blue Devils’ offense sputtered in the first half, committing six turnovers and going just 5-for-11 from the free throw line. But a 15-4 run by Maiden in the third quarter gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the night, 31-29, with 1 minute left in the third.
“We missed a lot of opportunities in the beginning with free throws, and that made it hard for us,” Miller said. “But we buckled down, and hit the ones down the stretch to help us seal the game.”
Maiden finished the game 19-for-34 from the foul line, but did hit its final nine free throws to ensure the win for the Blue Devils.
Cox lead all scorers with 17 points, and Gibbs, a sophomore, finished the game with 16 points for Maiden. Ten of Gibbs’ 16 points came in the fourth quarter to extend the Blue Devils’ lead and aid the comeback.
“He’s done that just about every game we’ve played this year,” Miller said of Gibbs. “He’s just slow to get going. But he is going to be a special player whenever we can get him to put four quarters together.”
Fred T. Foard won 59-43 Friday against Maiden in front of the home crowd. The Lady Tigers held a 42-15 lead at halftime, but had to overcome a 15-0 Maiden run in the second half to hold on for the win.
“We got hot, in the first half, with our shooting, but I told our players that we can’t always rely on our offense to win games,” Foard head coach Wendy Price said. “We had to pick it up defensively in the second half, and it was a real challenge for us.”
Tonya Propst led all scorers with 18 points and Chelsea Turner finished in double-figures with 14 points, thanks to a trio of 3-pointers, for the Tigers.