SPERRY - Despite being outscored 32-24 in the final two quarters, the Miami Lady Wardogs earned a 56-51 victory over the Sperry Lady Pirates Monday night in the opening round of the Sperry Tournament.
Coach JohnCarl Morgan's Lady Wardogs carry a 2-0 record into Thursday's 7 p.m. winner's bracket quarterfinal game with the Collinsville Lady Cardinals.
Senior guard Emily Cline scored seven points while Alyssa Johnson added five points and Faith Wilkins added two free throws as the Lady Wardogs built a 14-7 lead through the first quarter.
Consecutive field goals by Johnson, Katie Osborn and Kelsey Neal increased Miami's lead to 21-7 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The Lady Pirates responded with consecutive 3-pointers from Olivia Roberts and Shelby Haas, along with a layup by Cassidy Torix, to trail 21-15 with 4:21 until halftime.
Five points by Lacy Fisher, along with field goals by Sarah Rhodes and Mickey Prairie Chief, gave the Lady Wardogs a 32-19 cushion at intermission.
During the third quarter, Torix scored nine of her game-high 22 points to rally Sperry to a 42-34 deficit heading into the final eight minutes. A 3-pointer by Hailey Goolsby and two free throws by Samantha Bryant contributed to the rally.
Trailing 53-38 with 3:31 left in the game, the Lady Pirates staged a 13-1 rally to cut the margin to 54-51 with 16 seconds left on the clock. Torix scored nine points to fuel the run.
Two free throws by Johnson with 13 seconds remaining sealed the Lady Wardog victory.
Neal scored 15 points to lead the Lady Wardogs. Johnson added 12, followed by Cline with nine, Osborn with seven, Fisher with five, and two each from Faith Wilkins, Rhodes, Prairie Chief and Nikki Mullin.
Both teams were bitten by the turnover bug. While the Lady Wardogs committed 37 miscues, the Lady Pirates were guilty of 41 turnovers.
Torix grabbed 14 rebounds as Sperry held a slim 42-40 edge on the boards. Neal, Cline and Johnson each grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Lady Wardogs.