Elida survived Melrose, and its own free throw shooting, to escape with a 40-38 victory in Monday’s District 3-1A girls tournament game.
Reavis Best scored 14 to lead six in scoring for the Lady Tigers, who travel to Floyd for a 6 p.m. Wednesday contest. Floyd leads the season series 3-1.
Third-seeded Elida (18-8) jumped out to a 12-4 lead after one, and led 32-22 going into the final eight minutes.
“We played three good quarters,” Howard said. “In the fourth, the wheels fell off.”
In total, Elida shot 6-of-17 from the free-throw line, but went 2-of-11 in the fourth.
Melrose (9-14), which upset Fort Sumner 46-33 after going 0-8 in regular season district play, got two chances at game-winning 3-point attempts, but both were off. Shelby McElroy scored 11 to lead the Lady Buffs.
Cara Barnard scored 10 for Melrose, while Amanda Cross-Smith and Shanna Anthony each had eight for Elida.