Harrison, AR - With victory within reach like a carrot on the end of a stick, the Mesa Thunderbirds just couldn't overcome the Parkland College Cobra's in the NJCAA Tournament Friday afternoon. The T-Bird's drop their final game of the season, 66-57.
Parkland responded right back, in a big way, scoring the next 14 points, knocking down three three-pointers in the process. The Cobra's would hit two more three's in the quarter and finish the first quarter with a 14 point advantage, 28-14.
Just how the Cobra's exploded in the first quarter, the T-Birds put together their own rally, going on a 14-2 stint, eventually taking the lead at 31-30, on a Huggins three.
Parkland only scored seven points in the second quarter, all coming from the charity stripe. It was their final two free-throws that made the difference heading into halftime, as the Cobra's led, 35-33.
The Cobra's started the third quarter outscoring Mesa, 7-2, and the T-Birds again had to battle from behind to get back into the game. Parkland would maintain a small lead throughout the quarter and with two Anessa Glenn free-throws at the end of the quarter, Mesa again trailed by just two, 47-45.
Allies Fuller connected on a layup to tie the game up at 47 on the first possession of the 4th quarter but Parkland answered right back with a three of their own, a three that set off an 11-1 run to the 5:22 mark.
Mesa's never say die attitude helped them battle back into it, as the T-Birds got big buckets from Quynne Huggins and Sham Troupe, with a two free-throws from Anessa Glenn to close the Cobra lead to 58-57 with 3:29 to play.
Unfortunately for Mesa, 57 was the final total the scoreboard would show when the zero's would show up. The T-Birds would miss their final six shots that they took, while Parkland finished the game on an 8-0 run.
Huggins finished as the leading point scorer with 18 points but on the night, Mesa shot just 32.3 percent (20-62) and shot 52 percent from the line (10-19).
Mesa finishes 23-10 overall for the season, their best record since 2013-2014 season.