Lovelady Lady Lions traveled into enemy territory for a district showdown with the Slocum Lady Mustangs and came away with a hard fought 53-46 win on Friday, Jan. 23.
With the victory, Lovelady takes sole possession of first place with a perfect 5-0 record at the midway point in District 20-2A. The Lady Lions are ranked No. 16 in this week's TABC state poll with an impressive 20-5 season record.
Slocum got on the scoreboard first and the two teams battled fiercely the rest of the night.
The Lady Lions opened up a slim 19-15 lead at the end of the first quarter. Katelin Stone and Emily McClure scored 7 and 6 points, respectively, in the opening frame, along with 4 from Emily Connell and 2 from Leah Bellis.
The first half ended with Lovelady clinging to a narrow two-point lead, 32-30.
The third quarter turned out to be a defensive struggle with the Lady Lions scoring 9 points to Slocum's 6.
Leading 41-36 going into the final frame, the Lady Lions outscored their hosts 12 to 10 to seal the victory.
Katelin Stone had a stellar night as she scored 18 points, in addition to 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 2 steals.
Senior Leah Bellis poured in 14 points, while collecting 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block and 5 steals.
Sophomore Emily McClure contributed 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 blocks. Emily Connell scored 6 points as well as collecting 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and 1 steal.
Also contributing were Hannah Burleson with 5 points and 2 rebounds; Elexus Pickrom with 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block and 2 steals; and Brittany Gambill with 1 rebound.
Coach Glen Lowery was pleased that the Lady Lions limited Slocum to only two 3-pointers the whole night.
"Our defensive effort was the difference in this contest. I was very pleased with the overall effort of our team," said Coach Lowery.
The Lady Lions started the second round of district Tuesday against Centerville and will travel to Grapeland on Fridsay, Jan. 30.