Locust Grove never could shake Miami, but still managed to cart off a 59-51 victory in a Verdigris Valley Conference girls’ basketball game at the Dogdome.
The Lady Pirates looked like they were going to blow out MHS. Quite appropriately — on Friday the 13th — the visitors broke out to a 13-0 lead.
However, Miami narrowed the gap to 18-7 by the end of the quarter and it was 29-17 at the half.
A 9-3 run by the Lady Pirates created a 38-24 lead with 3:54 left in the third quarter, their biggest of the night.
Two free throws each by Kylee Carder and Bekah Stewart cut the gap to 38-28 with 3:08 remaining.
Locust Grove countered with a conventional 3-point play by Courtney Freeman, and the Lady Pirates were able to maintain an 11-point cushion heading into the fourth quarter, 48-37.
It looked like Locust Grove finally would put the Lady Wardogs away midway through the final stanza.
Brianna Jarrell and Brittany Stone connected for the Lady Pirates to bump the lead to 52-37, but Miami responded with a jumper by Carder and a bucket from inside by Katie Osborn to get it back down to 11, 52-41.
Miami made a run down the stretch, getting a layup from Carder and 3-point goals from Courtnei Young and Carder to shave the gap down to seven (58-51) with 29 seconds left.
Locust Grove, which struggled at the free throw line all night, got a marker from Rani Thilges with 24 seconds remaining to create the final margin.
“At halftime, I didn’t realize we weren’t playing hard,” Miami coach JohnCarl Morgan said. “We thought we were hustling and not doing anything real lazy. But when we came out in the third quarter, it was a new team. That showed all of us that we weren’t playing as hard as we could. We played a whole lot harder in the third and fourth quarters.”
The Lady Pirates converted on just 15 of 35 free throw chances. Miami was 13-of-30.
“They missed a lot of free throws, and that kept us in the game, really,” Morgan said.
Stone had a game-high 22 points for Locust Grove. She was joined in double figures by Alyssa Morrison, who had 11.
Carder and Stewart paced Miami with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
“We can feel good about it (the late rally), but at the same time, go back to that first six minutes in the first quarter — where were we?” Morgan said. “We didn’t execute our offense, we didn’t execute our plays.”
The Lady Wardogs wrap up the regular season — and their stay at the Dogdome — Monday night when they entertain Grove.
A mixer for former players, coaches, cheerleaders and dance team members is planned at 4:30 p.m.
Locust Grove 18 11 19 11 — 59
Miami 7 10 20 14 — 51
Locust Grove – Stone 22, Morrison 11, Bogle 7, Neal 6, Jarrell 6, Vich 3, Freeman 3, Thilges 1.
Miami — Carder 13, Stewart 12, Neal 7, Osborn 7, Young 6, Rhodes 3, Rowland 2, Swan 1.
3-point goals — Morrison 3, Stone 2, Bogle 1, Young 2, Carder 1, Osborn 1.