EARLY The freezing temperatures couldn't cool off the Early Lady Longhorns Friday afternoon when they defeated the Zephyr Lady Bulldogs in a close match-up, 27-26.

After a slow first half by Early, the Lady Longhorns trailed Zephyr 15-10, but the third quarter is where Early really did their damage on the scoreboard and stepped up defensively.

The Lady Longhorns went on a 13-2 run where they took a 23-17 lead going into the fourth quarter and never looked back. The Lady Bulldogs did fight until the end and almost completed the comeback, but ultimately fell one-point short.

"The third quarter was big for us today," said Lady Longhorn head coach Troy Fry on where the turning point of the game was for his team. "The girls came out and picked it up on defense and forced some turnovers that led to some easy baskets for us that got us back in the game."

Samantha Garrett led the Lady Longhorns to victory with 14 points, also going 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Hunter Coffee also added some offensive production by hitting two shots for four points.

Freshman Kensli Rockafellow was the main offensive weapon for Zephyr. She posted eight points in the game.

Playing games over the winter break isn't always ideal, as teams try to maintain some continuity.

"We came out earlier this week in a tournament and played well in some games and not so well in others," Fry said. "Everyone's tired during the break and not everyone's conditioning is really where it needs to be yet. It's just a matter of trying to maintain some intensity until school gets started back up."

The Lady Longhorns next game will be Tuesday, January 6 at Mason and Zephyr will travel to Highland on the same day.