The Lady Bulldogs went down to the wire Tuesday with Lexington, but on an old-fashioned three-point play by star center Didra Jones, the New Waverly girls escaped a scare and won 58-55.

With the victory, the Lady Bulldogs (13-1 in district, 26-5 overall) also ensured themselves of at least a tie for the District 26-2A championship.

“We’re district champs,” New Waverly coach Eldridge McAdams said with excitement while his team ate a postgame meal at McDonald’s. “It was back and forth all night. With the score tied, we came down and called a timeout.

“Didra took a shot and missed and Raven Russell grabbed the rebound. Raven shot and missed and Didra grabbed the rebound. She went back up, scored and got fouled on an and-one play. That’s how we won 58-55.”

Didra Jones finished the night with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Amber Sanders added 13 points and 10 rebounds, Destiny Jones scored 10 points with nine rebounds and Alicia Scott contributed six points and five assists.

Shanique Smith scored five points for NWHS, Russell added three and Genea Shoulders had two.

“The girls went kind of wild when Didra had her and-one play,” McAdams said. “I had to calm them down because there were two seconds left. They were jumping up and down when we got that call.”

McAdams said he reminded his team at halftime about the implications of Tuesday’s contest. With a win, the Lady Bulldogs clinched no worse than a district co-championship. A loss would likely drop New Waverly to second place.

“The girls acted like they didn’t know that,” the coach said. “We came out flat in the second half and Lexington built a seven- or eight-point lead. We had to work to get back in it. The girls kept their heads, and overall, we played well.”

McAdams expects a tiebreaker game to decide the top seeding for the Class 2A state playoffs. Hempstead was 12-1 going into Tuesday’s regular-season finale, and the New Waverly coach said a Lady Bobcats’ loss to Somerville was probably wishful thinking.

“I’m thinking they won, so we’ll probably break the tie Friday around Montgomery or Magnolia,” McAdams said. “We’ll talk tomorrow and make arrangements.”

New Waverly boys 51, Lexington 37

Jarvice Sykes and Joseph Carrington combined for 30 points to lead the Bulldog boys past Lexington 51-37 on Tuesday. New Waverly improved to 10-2 in district play and 21-7 on the season with the win.

Bulldogs coach Bill Goffney said he’ll take the win, but he wasn’t happy with the way his team played.

“It was ugly — U-G-L-Y,” he said. “We came out flat and couldn’t hit no shots. We pretty much got beat all over the floor, but we won on the scoreboard. We played pretty good defense, and that was the only bright spot.

“We’ll take the win. It keeps us in first place. When you can’t hit shots, you’ve got to find a way to win and we did. But we can’t play like that Friday, that’s for sure.”

Sykes scored 20 points, while Carrington added 10. Kyren Watts threw in eight points and X’zavious Harrison had four. Tyren Watts scored three while teammates Tarek Reece, Sir Horace Saulsberry and Sherman McKinney added two points each.

Franklin comes to New Waverly on Friday night for another important district game.

“That’s a big one. Franklin’s in a three-way tie for second, so they’re fighting to get in the playoffs,” Goffney said. “They’re going to come in and try to take one. It’s important for us to get a couple of good days in, try to fix some leaks and get ready for Friday night.”

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