An up and down season for the Munford Lady Cougars ended appropriately Monday night with an up and down game.
Munford led early, fell behind by nine, cut the lead to four, trailed later by 15 and trimmed the lead to five late against Bolton in the Region 7-AAA semifinals at Bolton High School.
When the clock expired, Munford walked off the court for the last time this season on the wrong end of a 54-47 score.
The difference ended up being a 12-1 run Bolton run to end the second quarter that put Bolton (20-8) ahead 21-12 at the half.
Precious Mills hit a 3-pointer for Munford (18-13) with 6:09 left in the second quarter to give her team an 11-9 lead, but Munford managed just one more point the rest of the quarter.
“All year long we've had spells where we couldn't get things going offensively,” Munford head coach Steve Poindexter said. “Unfortunately, when that happened tonight our defense fell apart at the same time. When you go through those periods, you stay in the game by playing defense. Tonight we just didn't get that accomplished.”
Bolton sophomore forward Charity Savage was a big reason for Munford's defensive problems.
She scored nine of Bolton's points during the second quarter run, had 16 in the first half and finished with a game-high 34.
“We let their best player do whatever she wanted to do,” Poindexter said. “We spent a lot of time on a defensive game plan, but we just didn't follow it.”
Kierra Richardson hit a 3-pointer for Munford in the opening seconds of the second half and Lindsey Owen followed with a bucket moments later to trim Bolton's lead to four points.
But Bolton responded with a 13-2 run to regain control.
Munford got to within five points on a pair of Alex Wherry free throws with 33 seconds left in the game, but could get no closer.
“I thought we played really hard at the end,” Poindexter said. “I appreciate that and I told them that, but we just dug too big of a hole to get out of.”
Mills and Wherry, who had eight points in the fourth quarter, led Munford with 16 points each.
Munford had no senior on the active roster. The team's only senior, Kierra Webb, was injured before the season and did not play all year.
Poindexter said it's up to his players how good they want to be next year.
“You've got the talent coming back,” he said. “It's just a matter of how bad do you want it?”