Howe’s girls basketball coach Derek Lands saw enough positive signs to be encouraged over the progress of his 2013-14 team, even in defeat.
The Lady Bulldogs started four sophomores at home in a 77-69 loss to Farmersville on Nov. 19, and those sophs scored 59 of those points.
Alissa Smith led the way with 21 points, and her steal and basket off of a Farmersville in-bounds pass late in the third quarter tied the game at 50-50. Smith followed with her third, three-pointer of the night, keying a run that gave Howe a 56-52 lead going into the final period.
Howe fans had to be encouraged by the post play of Holly Hawkins. as well. Hawkins finished with 12 points and teamed up with Riley Harvey to produce some highlights midway through the third period. The two traded scoring honors on a pair of pick-and-role plays, with the other providing the assist.
Early in the fourth period, a free throw by Hawkins tied the game at 57-57, but a three-ball by Farmersville senior Brittany Rich put the Lady Farmers on top to stay. Rich finished with 32 points to lead all scorers.
A basket by Harvey, with just over three minutes left in the game, cut the Farmersville lead to five, but the Lady Bulldogs could get no closer.
Having to foul in the late minutes, Farmersville made eight-of-12 from the free-throw line to ice the game.
It’s tournament time over the Nov. 23 weekend for Howe as the Lady Bulldogs are set to play in the 2013 Slidell Tip-Off tournament, meeting Chico on Thursday and taking on the winner of Collinsville-Slidell on Friday.
Howe returns home on Dec. 3, taking on their old rivals the Gunter Lady Tigers.
Farmersville 17 13 22 25 — 77
Howe 14 20 22 13 — 69
Howe:Alissa Smith 21, Riley Harvey 18, Holly Hawkins 12, Darci Foster 8, Christina Counts 5, Aurian James 2, Kendall Nelms 2, Morgan Carney 1.