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Lady Tigers down Dibrell in nail biter
Jayla Hudson and the Lady Tigers were able to hold off Dibrell 35-32 in Monday's preseason tournament opener at Eastside.

If the rest of the girls 7-8 grade season is as thrilling as its first game, the whole county is in for a wild ride. The elementary preseason tournament kicked off Monday at Eastside and it didn’t take long for there to be a big time battle between local teams.

In the first game of the night, Irving College and Dibrell dueled to the final seconds, with the Lady Tigers ultimately escaping with a 35-32 victory. Later in the night, the Eastside Lady Bulldogs blanked the Boyd Lady Broncos 45-0.

Hoisting a trophy this week is the ultimate goal for all elementary teams, but Monday’s squads had the toughest road. They were going to need to win three games in four nights to prevail and only two remained in the tournament by the end of the first night.

Irving College seemed to be in survival mode all afternoon, scrapping and clawing its way to a win as Dibrell simply wouldn’t go away. The Lady Tigers, led by Ali Young’s defense and relentless attack, built a five-point lead four different times in the last three minutes, but the Lady Wildcats always had an answer.

The dynamic duo of Anslee Crick and Katie Bechtel was Dibrell’s answer. Crick had a game-high 16 points as Irving College had no answers for her size on the block, while Bechtel finished with 13 points. Both Lady Wildcats had big buckets late to give Dibrell a chance, but Irving College always found a way to stay out front.

Young had a big steal and layup late – part of a 10-point night – and Madisyn Petrovic’s 3-pointer in the final two minutes was huge as Irving College downed Dibrell. Petrovic had five of her seven points in the final period, while Jayla Hudson’s eight early points helped the Lady Tigers build a lead and keep it all night.