KERENS – The Neches Lady Tigers are back in the regional semifinals for the first time since their state title run in 2012 following their 62-57 overtime win against the Abbott Lady Panthers.
The Lady Tigers were within 18 seconds of having their season come to a close Thursday. After leading 35-28 through three quarters, Abott outscored Neches 24-12 until the final sequence of the fourth quuarter.
Down 52-47, the Lady Tigers looked towards their leading seniors, Lexi Rogers and Kacie Kimbrough, to keep their state title hopes alive.
Rogers filled those shoes first with a needed three pointer to pull within two. Kimbrough then followed suit. A Lady Panther turnover led to a Kimbrough basket with two seconds remaining to force overtime.
Kimbrough continued to shoulder Neches's spirited comeback – scoring six of their 10 overtime points. She finished with 23 points on the night, while Rogers held the team high of 26 points. Emily Hill added 10 on the night as well.
Neches - 14 | 15 | 6 | 17 | 10
Abbott - 4 | 7 | 17 | 24 | 5
Neches 58, Coolidge 35
Neches 62, Abbott 57
Neches Lady Tigers vs. Rocksprings Lady Angoras
The Lady Tiger move on to face TABC's 18th ranked 1A team – Rocksprings Lady Angoras. In the Texas Girls Coaches Association's latest polls Neches is ranked eighth, while Rocksprings was not included inside the top 10.
Still, the two sides prepare to battle Saturday, 3 p.m. at Georgetown High School.