Coming off their win against Princeton last week, the Anna Coyotes hoped to make it two in a row when they played host to Melissa on Feb. 4. Melissa was coming into the game after barely topping Princeton at the Bird Cage four days earlier but had a solid hold of the 12-3A standings.
Anna hung close and was within five points in the fourth quarter but was unable to edge any closer as Melissa improved to 6-1 in district play and will have at least a share of the district title. The Coyotes dropped to 1-5 in district play and have to win at least one of their final two games in order to have a chance at a playoff berth, though winning both games would be prime.
Anna will play host to Community on Friday and a win for the Coyotes would create a fourth place tie in the district. It will take on Bonham Tuesday in the final game of the regular season. The Warriors are currently 4-2 in district play and are coming off a surprising loss to Community on Jan. 31.
Melissa has a bye on Friday night and will play at Community Tuesday. A win, or a Bonham loss, would give the Cardinals the district 12-3A championship outright. The teams from 12-3A that advance into the playoffs face a tough opponent in the first round when they face their 11-3A counterparts, Triple A Academy, Wilmer-Hutchins, Ferris, Irving North Hills, Dallas Madison and Dallas Roosevelt.
Madison is currently at the top of that group with a 7-0 district record and TAA is second at 7-1. Roosevelt is sitting at 4-3 and Wilmer-Hutchins is 3-4. If the season ended today, the Cardinals would advance to take on that fourth seeded team.
Melissa 45, Anna 30
Melissa has become accustomed to gutting out games this season. Many of its games are close late and that was no different when it traveled to Anna this week.
Cory Regan and Connor Bazis each had six points in the fourth quarter to help lift the Cardinals on Tuesday night and lead Melissa to the 15-point victory.
The game started at a slower pace with both teams forcing shots. Bazis scored the first points of the game but Anna was able to respond quickly with a shot by Adriun Harrison to tie the score.
The Coyotes built a three-point advantage before Sheldon Moore got on the board with a rebound and put-back. Melissa ended the opening period with a 6-2 run to take the lead.
Harrison’s eight points in the first accounted for all of the Coyote points but he was kept quiet the rest of the game and finished with nine points on the night. Moore led all scorers with 15 in the game and Bazis added 13 to help Melissa get the win.
Bazis and Moore helped fuel an 8-2 run in the middle of the second quarter that helped the Cardinals get some breathing room. Anna got within five after threes from Alex Scheidt and Keamoni Mattocks. Moore knocked down a trey at the end of the half to help Melissa take a 24-16 lead into the locker room at the end of the half.
After the break, both teams were a little sluggish and combined for just 12 points in the period with neither team gaining ground. Mattocks brought Anna within five with a three pointer with five minutes to go in the game but Bazis’ three field goals and Cory Regan’s six shots from the charity stripe allowed the Cardinals to finish with a 15-5 run to take the game.
Mattocks led the Coyotes with 12 points in the game.
Other Melissa scorers included: Cory Regan (8), Will Gray (3), Karson Munson (2), Christian Cabil (2) and Nathan Razo (2). Other Anna scorers included: Dylan Duncan (4), Alex Scheidt (3) and Jeff Muchai (2).
M 9 15 6 15 — 45
A 8 8 6 8 — 30