After mounting a big first-half lead, Life Christian outlasted a fourth-quarter push by Carli Hallis and Stadium to top the Tigers 41-35 in the Eagles’ first game of the season tonight at Stadium High School.
The Eagles raced out to a 10-0 lead with just over five minutes left in the first quarter on Johnnise Moore’s rebound and put-back, and led 12-5 heading into the second. Moore added three early baskets in the second quarter to build the lead to 20-5, and it was a 23-9 advantage at the half after the Tigers’ Amber Longrie hit a two-point jumper at the buzzer.
Longrie helped Stadium get off to a quick start in the third quarter with a three-pointer, and teammate Felisha Bradley added a three of her own to cut the deficit to 23-15. But Life Christian’s Taylor Boles answered with a layup at the other end, and built the lead back to 32-19 with a three-point play later in the third.
Trailing 34-21 heading into the final quarter, Hallis brought the Tigers back within 36-29 with four buckets in just over three minutes. The senior forward scored 12 of the Tigers’ 14 points in the period, and pulled Stadium within 38-33 with a layup with three minutes left. Shaya Murray’s layup after a steal later pulled the Tigers within 39-35 with just over a minute left, but Boles later sealed it with two free throws on the other end.
Moore finished with 16 points and six rebounds for Life Christian, while Boles had 12 points, Long added eight points and freshman Courtney Youngblood hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds. Hallis led the Tigers with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Bradley had eight points and Kallie Broughton had five points and seven rebounds for Stadium.