After witnessing a 15-point first-half lead evaporate, the Brownwood Lady Lions used a 15-2 run during the fourth quarter to spark their 63-54 victory over the Glen Rose Lady Tigers Tuesday night — their first win of the season.
The Lady Lions (1-2) opened the year with road losses at Clyde (52-39) and Robinson (54-44) last week, and it looked as though their initial win might slip through their fingers. But with the game deadlocked at 48-all with 6:45 left, the Lady Lions scored 15 of the next 17 points to build a comfortable 63-50 advantage with 47 seconds left.
“The last game we were pretty close and I told the kids we were just a few possessions and a few defensive stops away,” said Lady Lions head coach Nikki Heath. “I thought as a whole, for three to three-and-a-half quarters we were pretty solid.”
LaCresha Williams, Brownwood’s leading scorer, tallied a season-high 23 points, including nine points during the deciding run. Gabby Colbert added 12 points, while Hailey Williams and Sabrina Castillo contributed eight points apiece and a combined four three-pointers.
Glen Rose, which scored 24 points from the free throw line, was led by Samantha Wilson’s 20 points and 16 from Kelly Glass.
Brownwood led 39-24 with 1:09 left in the second period following back-to-back treys by Castillo. But Glen Rose whittled away Brownwood’s lead and pulled even on a pair of Megan Pruitt free throws 1:15 into the fourth period.
LaCresha Williams then put the Lady Lions back in front, 50-48, with her bucket at the 6:25 mark, which led to a Glen Rose time out.
“After (Glen Rose) called a time out I told the kids it was important that we approach every quarter the same way,” Heath said. “We started tough and stayed focus in the beginning, but I asked them what good is it if we start strong and we don’t finish? After that they really started communicating with each other about what they needed to do.”
Six consecutive Brownwood points followed after the break, with four coming from Williams and two coming from Moochie Galloway on her only bucket of the night. Two of those possessions began after the Lady Lions forced turnovers.
Glen Rose’s Watson cut the deficit to 56-50 with a deuce at the 2:47 mark, but Williams answered with the Lady Lions’ fifth three-point bucket, which essentially iced the game, 59-50, with 2:37 left.
“LaCresha is going to have to be a big leader for us game in and game out,” Heath said. “This year she understands that’s her responsibility and I’m expecting her to play like this every game. I think she’s expecting it from herself also this year.”
Lauren Dees tacked on her only bucket with 1:56 left, then Hailey Williams sank a pair of free throws to cap the run.
The Lady Lions were poised to put the game out of reach in the first half as a string of 12 straight points — with six coming on a pair of Hailey Williams three-pointers, four coming from Colbert and two chipped in by LaCresha Williams — gave Brownwood an 18-8 edge going into the second quarter.
But foul problems began to plague the Lady Lions as they racked up 16 prior to halftime. That left a trio of Brownwood players with three fouls at intermission and it allowed Glen Rose to convert 17-of-22 first-half free throws. The Lady Tigers hit just five field goals in the opening half, but were still within striking distance at halftime, 39-27.
During much of the third period, the Lady Lions appeared to have their foul troubles on their minds as Glen Rose picked apart Brownwood to close the gap to 46-44 after three quarters.
But the Lady Lions regained the momentum and managed to not have a single player foul out down the stretch, which was one of the biggest keys to the late surge.
“We talked to the kids about them not reaching,” said Heath of the foul troubles. “We’d have people in the trap and then we’d reach in and foul. We talked about mirroring the ball and keeping their point of view skewed, then you really don’t have to reach.”
The Lady Lions will shoot for their first win streak of the season Friday as they visit their fourth straight Class 3A foe — Comanche — at 6:30 p.m.