Moore and the Lady Tigers (0-17, 0-2 Region 5-AA) rallied back from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit and cut the lead down to five late in the game, but couldn’t get over the hump during the closing minute. Moore, who also had five steals, scored 24 of her game-high 34 points in the second half, including a 14-of-19 clip from the charity stripe.
Temple coach Rhett Parson said while he’d love to see his team get into the win column, knowing that he’s still getting great effort from everyone on his squad has been an encouraging sign as the team keeps improving and moving forward.
“They ain’t quit on me — and that’s definitely a hat’s off to them. At any point, they could quit and hang it up. But they’re fighting and they’re trying to get that first win,” Parson said.
The Lady Tigers had some untimely misfortunes in the first half, as the Lady Red Jackets (3-12, 1-0) — who won a 67-64 overtime game against Spencer on Friday night — knocked down off-balanced, buzzer-beating 3-pointers to end both the first and second quarters, putting them ahead 33-22 at the half.
“It’s crazy how some shots just fall like that,” Parson said. “But you’ve got to play through the adversity. You’ve just got to be even-keel and keep playing. That’s not what beat us.”
Moore scored Temple’s first six points of the third quarter to pull her squad within 33-28, but Jordan countered with a 6-0 run of its own to make it a double-digit game again. And after the Lady Jackets built their biggest lead of the day at 17 points early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers dug deep and clawed back into it. Unfortunately, time was not on their side in this one.
Along with Moore’s big night, Donique Channer also had a solid game with 10 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.
Senior center Mariette Wilbur led Jordan with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Justice Blair also posted a double-double, finishing with 18 points and 12 boards.
Temple will now go back to the drawing board and work toward next Friday’s road trip to Manchester.
“If they would just be able to put four quarters together, we would be a lot better off than we are right now. We’ve just got to continue to play and hopefully squeeze one out here,” Parson said.
Jordan boys 68, Temple 51: Facing one of the top teams in Class AA and a state semifinalist from a season ago, Steve Robinson didn’t have quite the ideal start to Saturday night’s region showdown.
The Tiger coach lost one of his top players — sophomore guard Elijah McFarland — to a right knee injury less than six minutes into the game and then had senior standout Trevor Shell pick up his third foul just three minutes into the second quarter.
And when you’re facing a juggernaut like the Red Jackets (10-4, 1-0), that’s not the formula you’re looking for to pull the upset.
“Yeah, I tell you, with a team like that, you’ve got to have all guns blazing. But our guys didn’t quit. They played hard. And that was a tough team — we knew that coming in,” Robinson said. “They’re the No. 7 team in the state. With their tradition and their experience, we knew that was a tall task. But I felt we were up to the challenge.”
Temple (5-11, 0-2) got out to an early 8-3 lead, but Jordan used a 15-0 run at the end of the first quarter and start of the second to build a double-digit lead — one it wouldn’t yield the rest of the way.
The Red Jackets committed just one turnover in the first half to Temple’s 15 en route to a 38-23 halftime advantage before the Tigers made a second-half push against Jordan’s attempt to stall on the offensive end.
Temple cut the deficit to 11 points in the third quarter and then again down to 12 early in the fourth before the Red Jackets pulled away down the stretch, going 8-of-12 from the charity stripe in the final minutes.
Jordan’s Jamar Sheppard led all scorers with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Tony Palmer added 18 points for the Jackets.
Shell paced Temple with 21 points and 16 rebounds, with Briahous McPherson added eight points and eight boards.
“I tell you, he’s a heck of a player. He’s been working hard,” Robinson said of Shell. “These other guys, they work hard and they all stay together. It’s a privilege to coach this group. You want to win every game, but you also want to see them happy. And they are happy with each other. They want to do better and make everyone happy. I’m still proud of these guys. They’ve come a long way. There’s still a way to go, but they’ve come a long way.”