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Once again, the queens of Stephens County wear outlaw blue.
Saturday night at Outlaw gymnasium saw the Marlow Lady Outlaws use a strong defensive effort in the second half to claim their sixth straight Stephens County Tournament championship with a 54-41 victory over the Central High Lady Bronchos.
Central High’s undoing was a six point effort in the fourth, after trailing by just six points at 41-35 entering the fourth quarter.
“I thought the whole second half we played a lot better than we had,” Marlow coach Kirk Harris said. “We had to make some changes defensively because they (Central High) were killing us with penetration. (Lora-Lynn) Loomis was hurting us as well. I also thought we were able to neutralize them down low which helped out a lot. These girls always seem to get up for this tournament which is great, but we need to keep building on it.”
With the score set at 41-35 after three quarters of play, the Lady Outlaws came out in the fourth and finished the game off as only they could.
Of course the Lady Bronchos were also hindered by cold shooting which contributed to the six point effort in the fourth quarter.
At the 6:13 mark the Lady Outlaws were starting to pull away with the score at 45-35.
It was a far cry from a first half which saw the Lady Bronchos give Marlow everything they could handle and more.
Both teams battled to an 11-11 tie in the first quarter, before the Lady Bronchos managed to take the upper hand right before halftime with a 26-25 lead.
But, once the Lady Outlaws took the lead at 31-30 with 5:33 left in the third quarter, things never got better for Central High as the Lady Bronchos were forced to settle for second place.
“We didn’t hit very many shots in the fourth quarter,” Central coach Chad Weldon said. “I told the girls I was proud of them and that this is not the end of the year. We played hard but the shots just didn’t fall for us tonight. Playing in front of a big crowd will definitely prepare us for the playoffs.”
Ashley O’Dell led the Lady Outlaws (11-7) with 22 points on the night, with Avery Walker scoring 17 points. Diamond Morris added five points, while Emalee Williams and Anne Davenport both scored four points in the contest.
Central High (14-5) was paced by Lora-Lynn Loomis with 12 points followed by Aleia Daniels with 10 points. Lacie Phillips scored nine points on the evening with Faith Harris and Caitlyn White both scoring four points in the contest.