ZEPHYR — The Early Lady Horns built leads of 10 points in the first half and nine in the second — both of which the Zephyr Lady Bulldogs reduced to two points — before emerging with a 34-31 non-district road victory Tuesday afternoon.
The Lady Horns (3-12) captured their second win in a row following a 48-40 triumph over Class 5A Killeen in their finale at the Lampasas tournament. The Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, slipped to 6-10 on the season.
Janae Williams poured in 17 points to pace Early trailed by 10 from Andee Jo Rose, four from Aspen Escamilla and three points from K.J. Elkins.
For Zephyr, Darian Smith led the way with eight points followed by six each from Chasity Williams and Lauren Jesko, four from Samantha Howard, three from Jaci Rockafellow and two points each from Haven Rogers and Andrea Howard.
The Lady Horns limited Zephyr to one field goal in the first period and carried a 9-2 lead into the start of the second stanza. Early’s first-half advantage peaked at 10 points, 16-6, following a bucket by Escamilla with 4:48 left before halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs answered with a 6-0 closing run to end the half, trimming Early’s advantage to 16-12 at the break. Jesko, Andrea Howard and Williams chipped in the buckets for Zephyr in the final 2:31 of the second period.
Early gradually stretched its lead throughout the third period as a bucket from Rose with 38 seconds left capped a 7-2 spurt and gave the Lady Horns a 27-18 advantage heading to the fourth period.
Zephyr was down 29-22 with 4:08 left before Samantha Howard scored inside, then Smith buried a three-pointer to close the gap to 29-27 with 3:19 left.
The Lady Horns regained a 34-28 edge with 16 seconds remaining, but Rockafellow converted a traditional three-point play with six seconds to go. Zephyr recorded a steal on the ensuing possession near midcourt, but could not get off a tying shot attempt before time expired.