BANGS — The Bangs Lady Dragons took control of the fourth and final playoff position at the midway point of the District 7-3A race Friday night, rallying from a double-digit deficit to slip past the Early Lady Horns, 38-35.
Neither team possessed a district victory heading into the game, and Bangs (7-15, 1-3) had converted just one field goal at the halfway point of the second period as Early (7-13, 0-4) was out in front 14-4.
The Lady Dragons closed the first half on a 9-0 run to shave the Lady Horns’ lead to a point at halftime. Early came out red hot in the second half, however, and stretched its lead back to seven points before another Bangs charge.
Trailing 25-18 with 4:54 left in the third period following a three-pointer by Early’s Lauren Jesko, the Lady Dragons were able to draw even at 29 by the end of the quarter.
Raelee Francois, who led Bangs with 16 points, immediately answered the trey of Jesko — who led the Lady Horns with 16 points as well — with a three-pointer of her own just 12 seconds later. Torrey Miller then scored off a steal to bring Bangs within a bucket, 25-23, at the 4:27 mark.
Jayslin King, who scored all 11 of her points after halftime, sank a jumper to push the Lady Horns’ lead back to four points, 27-23, with 1:31 left in the frame, but buckets from Haley Pitts and Michaela Light allowed the Lady Dragons to knot the score at 27 with 52 seconds left.
Early and Bangs traded buckets again before the third quarter ended, then neither team lit up the scoreboard again for the initial 3:24 of the fourth period.
Finally, the Lady Dragons ended the scoring drought as Taylor Malett scored and was fouled following three third offensive rebound during a Bangs possession. Malett converted the three-point play, and Bangs led for good, 32-29.
Early crept to within 32-31, but Bangs sank its last six free throws down the stretch to extend the lead to 38-33 in the waning seconds. The Lady Dragons were 13 of 20 from the free throw line overall, while the Lady Horns were 4 of 8. Early also committed 21 turnovers while creating 11.
Along with Francois, Bangs received seven points from Light, six from Pitts, five from Malett and four points from Miller.
Following Jesko and King for Early were Ramsie Rodgers with six points and Wytni Thompson with two.
The Lady Dragons are off Tuesday and resume district play at home against Comanche Friday. The Lady Horns, meanwhile, venture to Comanche Tuesday.