Crockett Lady Bulldogs began defense of their district basketball championship by handling Jewett Leon 51-46 in the District 21-3A opener Tuesday, Dec. 15 at The Hop.
The Lady Dogs led 17-13 after a quarter but Leon slipped in front 21-19 midway through the second quarter.
Three unanswered treys by Crockett's Mercedes James, Shelby Corry and Dajah Davis opened up a 28-21 lead with 1:35 left in the second. Leon countered with a pair of buckets in the final minute to cut Crockett's lead to 28-25 at intermission.
The lead went back-and-forth throughout the third quarter. After Leon went in front 38-35 with :50 left, Crockett tied the game when Davis buried another three-pointer with :16 left in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth, Crockett's Jardan Garner drained a 3-pointer to spark a 7-0 run that included a basket and pair of free throws by Dea'Junique James to put the Lady Dogs up 45-38 with 5:18 left.
But Leon chipped away at the lead, scoring six unanswered points to make it a one-point game, 45-44, with 3:50 to go.
After a Briayanna Houston bucket gave Crockett a three-point cushion, Leon hit a pair of free throws that made it 47-46 with 2:00 left.
Crockett closed out the final 1:30 with a 4-0 run, but left five points at the charity stripe on missed shots.
D. James scored with 1:29 left but was unable to complete a three-point play at the line. After two more trips to the line by the Lady Dogs resulted in zero points, James knocked down a pair with 10.4 seconds left to give Crockett a 51-46 lead.
D. James made 6 of 7 free throws and led the Lady Dogs with 16 points while Corry finished with 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Davis contributed 9 points on three treys, Garner had 7 (two treys), M. James nailed a trey. Houston and Owens rounded out the scoring with two apiece.
Crockett made 9 of 19 free throws while Leon hit 14 of 21.
Following a district game Friday, Dec. 18 at Onalaska, the Lady Bulldogs will be idle until Saturday, Jan. 2 when they host Westwood for junior varsity and varsity match-ups starting at 2 p.m.
Crockett hosts New Waverly on Tuesday, Jan. 5 and then hits the road Friday, Jan. 8 for a showdown with No. 11-ranked Buffalo, which is picked to win the district.