The Neches Lady Tigers improved to 21-4 on the season with an impressive 70-60 win over Bullard on Friday night at Bullard’s Panther Gymnasium.

Despite 45-points from Texas Tech-bound, Minta Spears, Neches utilized full-court pressure forcing numerous Bullard turnovers to aid in the win.

Neches’ Kiandra Taylor led Neches with 21 points, sinking the lone Lady Tiger 3-pointer for a 15-8, Neches lead early on. Taylor later fouled out with six-minutes left in the game but before fouling out of the game in the final stanza.

Lady Tiger, Kristen Green picked up the slack scoring six of her 12 points in the final quarter to seal the Neches win.

“I was really pleased with our effort tonight,” said Neches head coach Andy Snider. “I think our defensive pressure was key, forcing some turnovers that we got some easy baskets on.

“Minta (Spears) is going to score her points and we knew that she is the catalyst for them and we tried to double and triple team her and she still scored, but we did a great job on the boards tonight and I was pleased with everyone’s effort.”

The Lady Tigers put eight players in the scorebook as opposed to only three for Bullard.

Spears, scored all 12 points for Bullard in the first quarter, and added 13 more points to lead to a 31-31 tie at the half.

Lady Panther, Rachel Horton spearheaded the last minute rally with four of her nine-points. Her steal and layup with two-seconds left knotted the game.

Bullard appeared to be ready to roll in the third period starting off with back-to-back treys by Kylee Nichols (6 points), and Spears to push a 37-31, Bullard lead but it was to last long.

The Lady Tigers warmed-up to outpoint Bullard 24-10 in the period, with Taylor scoring 11 points and a Neches, 55-41 lead.

Spears continued her bombing away from the outside, nailing four more 3-pointers to total seven in the game but it would not be enough as Neches (21-4), finished out the win.

“No doubt about it, Neches has got a great 1A team and I would be surprised not to see them down in Austin for state,” said Bullard head coach, Greg Gay. “I was disappointed in our rebounding, especially on the defensive end. They scored a lot of points on put-backs that we should have controlled and the full-court pressure took it’s toll on us in the third quarter when they made their big run.

“It was a good game for us to play before we open up district play and hopefully we can learn from some of the mistakes we made tonight.”

Bullard drops to 17-9 on the year and will open district play on the road Tuesday night in Brownsboro.

Bullard won the junior varsity game in dominating fashion, 39-10.

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