By DAVE WOODALL
Slidell sports writer
SLIDELL – The Slidell boys’ and girls’ basketball teams opened District 6-5A action last Tuesday at the Tiger gym.
The Tiger girls didn’t fare well in their opener falling to the Hammond Lady Tors 37-33 while the boys won 61-59.
The Lady Tigers were sailing along until their leading scorer, Chelsea Harrington, was injured midway through the first period and was forced to sit out the remainder of the game.
She and Mallory Hancock had each scored four points en route to a 13-8 lead after one period of play.
But the loss of Harrington was evident in the second stanza as the Tigers only scored six points to the Tors (11-10, 1-0) nine but still took a 19-17 lead into halftime.
Both teams went cold in the third period with Slidell going 0-of-7 from the field and only four points from the foul line by Aamarian Ducre while the Tors went 2-of-14 and only four points by Lala Legard.
Leading by 23-21 going into the final period, Slidell continued to shoot poorly from the field hitting only 3-of-13 for 10 points.
Hammond, on the other hand, found the range and hit 6-of-13 shots for 16 points to pull out the 37-33 win.
A combination of poor shooting and 27 turnovers by the Tigers proved to be their undoing.
Ducre kept Slidell (8-11, 0-1) in the game hitting 14 points with Jaylyn Roberson adding nine.
Brandy Scott led the Tors with 19 points.
The boys game went right down to the wire with the Tigers (12-4, 1-0) hanging on for a 61-59 win.
Tylor Harris lit it up early for the Tigers hitting 10 points in the first quarter.
Hammond’s Darrion Wilson kept pace with 11 points that included three, three-pointers to put the Tors up 16-14 after one period of play.
Slidell picked up the pace in the second quarter as Marc Merriman got the hot hand and drained 10 points. Kolbe Warren also contributed with four points as the Tigers finished the half up 33-26.
In the third, Harris hit another pair of treys but the Tigers only hit on 3-of-19 while the Tors hit 7-of-14 for 15 points to narrow the Tiger lead to 43-41 entering the final period of play.
Both teams scored 18 points in the final period but a three-point shot by Harris with eight seconds left proved to be the difference as time ran out on the 61-59 Tiger win.
“We played well tonight,” said Tiger coach Dale Chimento.
“Obviously, we need to execute better especially at the end of close games. We’ve got a bunch of young guys and rushed too many shots in the first half. We did much better taking our time with the shots in the second half. We did a great job executing that last play when Tylor (Harris) scored.”
Harris finished with 21 to lead the Tigers while Marc Merriman added 12 and Warren eight.
Also contributing for Slidell were Edmond Thomas with seven, Jonathan Merriman with six and Harrington with five.
Wilson led the Tors (9-9, 0-1) with a game-high 24 points.