The burdens they faced this season became to be too much to bear for the Stone High Lady ’Cats’ basketball team last Friday.
“We just ran out of gas,” said coach Sam Smith.
Stone fell to host McComb, 57-42, in the second round of the MHSAA 4-A playoffs.
The Lady ’Cats only had six players play in the game after suffering from attrition to injuries all season.
Stone finished the season with a 23-7 record.
“I’m so proud of these young ladies for facing so many obstacles and adversity throughout the year and most of the time overcoming them,” Smith said. “They were the Davids facing the Goliaths so many times.”
Hayleigh Breland scored 15 points to lead the Lady ’Cats while Reina Hartfield added 10 and Yazmine Bradford nine.
Christian Fairley pulled down 10 rebounds.
Stone led the Tigers by four points, 28-24, heading to the halftime locker room, but managed just two points in the third quarter.
“They came out after halftime and pressured us and we had a bad third quarter,” the coach said.
Smith has a solid core returning next season to a team which has only lost nine games over the past two seasons while going undefeated in regional play.
Breland, who has been selected Regional Most Valuable Player the past two seasons, will be back for her junior year while Hartfield will return as a senior.
Bradford and Fairley will graduate and represent the biggest loss to the team.
“They will be awfully hard to replace,” the coach said.
Breonna Huddleston will also return after having missed the majority of this season because of injury.
“The future doesn’t look too bad,” Smith said.