ARDMORE - The Durant Lady Lions played two close games in the latter part of the Ardmore Holiday Festival, but ultimately went three-and-out at the event last week.
After a hard fall to fifth-ranked Deer Creek last Thursday, the Lady Lions faced another top 20 opponent from Class 5A in Western Heights on Friday.
Despite 21 points from Reaghan Jones, the Lady Lions fell behind early and lost 51-38 to the Lady Jets. Down only 22-17 at the half, Western heights used a 17-8 third quarter to pull away.
The loss forced the Lady Lions into a Saturday morning game against the Hirschi Ladie Huskies (1-9) from Wichita Falls, Texas. The game was a close battle but Hirschi withstood a late charge by the Lady Lions and took the game from Durant by the score of 36-30.
“We had a slow start today, but all year long I’ve said it, these girls just don’t quit,” said Durant girls basketball coach Casey Strahan. “Whenever you go into halftime down 25-11 and hold the team to 11 in the second half, it shows a lot of character. They don’t ever stop working and when you do that, you end up getting better.”
Turnovers were an issue for the Lady Lions, but they made up for it in the second half with a 10-3 surge in the third quarter and closed to within four points of Hirschi in the late moments of the game. They also did a better job crashing the boards than in recent games.
“Rebounding has been an issue for us,” Strahan said. “In the first half we struggled with it and the second half we came out and we did a whole lot better on the boards. I attribute their lack of scoring to it, (Hirschi) didn’t have a lot of second shot opportunities.”
Ciera Taylor collected 11 rebounds, while Alexa Richards had five to go with her team-high 12 points and three steals. Makayla Patton had five boards while Kylie Manning and Rylie Andis had four each.
Andis scored six points and Reaghan Jones struggled from the floor but got five points on 5-of-8 free throw shooting.
The Lady Lions (2-6) are off until a Jan. 7, 2014 home contest against Atoka. The LadyCats own a decisive win over the Lady Lions in the Dec. 3 season opener.