If Hico head girls basketball coach Larry Holder would have known before Tuesday night’s District 16-2A opener that his interior defense would perform as well as it did against McGregor’s six foot, five inch post player, he would have loved his team’s chances of starting league play with a win.

The interior defense held its ground alright; it was on offense that the No. 14-ranked Lady Tigers (13-2) faltered in their 48-41 road loss.

“We played good defense, but we had a poor night shooting the ball and we had some foul trouble,” said Holder, whose club entered district play on a four-game win streak. “It just wasn’t a good night for us offensively.”

Starting point guard Tristan Till picked up two fouls in the opening moments of the game and picked up her third at the start of the second half. She eventually fouled out late in the contest.

“Any time your starting point guard is in foul trouble it hurts,” Holder said.

Shooting percentages didn’t help matters. Senior standout Cara Finstad had a rare off night, going 0-15 from the field.

Cassi Stegall did everything she could to make up for it with 16 points, while Claudia Zuniga tallied 10.

With all that went wrong, Hico still had opportunities to come from behind in the closing minutes. With 2:15 remaining the Lady Tigers took possession trailing 42-38, but turned the ball over.

“After that we had to start fouling,” Holder explained. “They didn’t shoot real well at the free throw line, but they finally made enough to ice it.”