Written by SportsDayDFW.com
West Mesquite girls hold off furious Newman Smith rally in 60-58 win
MESQUITE — No. 6 West Mesquite survived a late rally by No. 5 Carrollton Newman Smith and hung on for a 60-58 victory Tuesday in a key District 10-4A girls basketball showdown.
Newman Smith trailed by 10 with less than a minute to play. It got 3-pointers from Daija Styles and Kirstyn Williams before Alexis Nezianya’s layup to make it a two-point game with 14 seconds remaining.
After forcing a turnover on the following inbounds play, though, Newman Smith couldn’t get its final shot to fall.
West Mesquite turned the ball over twice in the backcourt during the final minute and went 0 for 4 from the free throw line.
“They just lost their heads there at the end,” West Mesquite coach Tabitha Wesley said. “I guess they wanted to keep the game interesting.”
Despite the unenthusiastic finish, West Mesquite (22-5, 11-1) took sole possession of first place with the victory. Newman Smith (17-7, 10-2) is a game behind with two games remaining.
Senior guard Alexus Bertrand led West Mesquite with 22 points. She made nine field goals, including four 3-pointers, and was one of four players in double figures.
Newman Smith struggled with turnovers throughout the night, and West Mesquite converted 23 miscues into 23 points.
Newman Smith was down by as much as 15 in the third quarter, and it held West Mesquite to eight points in the fourth quarter.
“We got down early, but the kids fought,” Newman Smith coach Amanda Leader said. “The game was always within reach.”
Nezianya led Newman Smith with 17 points.
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