The Mountainburg Lady Dragons missed their first 10 field goal attempts in Friday’s game with Lavaca.
But with 2½ minutes left in the third quarter, the Lady Dragons were a possession away from making it a one score game.
Then Hope Headley launched one of those corner 3-pointers that Mountainburg coach Zach Dean knew was going in.
Headley’s trey and some tough early defense helped the Golden Arrows fend off the Dragons, 49-38, in the 2A-4 opener for both teams.
“We cut it to four and I think the Headley girl came down and nailed a three, and put it back to seven, and that was about the end of the run,” Dean said. “All kudos to Lavaca. They came out and did what they needed to do.”
The Golden Arrows (5-4, 1-0) led 16-0 after one quarter and 17-0 before Mountainburg’s Madelyn Beasley got a short jumper to fall with seven minutes left in the first half.
Headley helped her reach double figures with 10. But the biggest difference was the play of Skylar Hyatt.
The 5-foot-7 senior scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Teamamate Beth Ann May added 13 points and 11 boards.
“Beth Ann and Skylar I thought did a great job on the boards tonight,” Lavaca coach Justin Wyles said. “Beth Ann has worked really hard this off-season. She’s playing really well for us this season.
“Skylar has really been big for us.”
Hyatt was economical, grabbing seven boards in both halves of Friday’s win.
She had some timely buckets, too.
“Skylar’s not that big, but she plays big,” Wyles said. “She works hard to get position.”
Wyles knew the hot start wouldn’t last long.
“I thought the girls did a great job with our game plan,” he said. “I think it got Mountainburg out of sorts early. But I think a lot of coach Dean; I knew he would figure something out at halftime.”
Mountainburg (5-3, 0-1) caught fire in the third quarter. Held to nine points in the first half, the Lady Dragons outscored Lavaca, 20-11 in the third quarter.
“He (Dean) made some adjustments and they made a run,” Wyles said. “They made a run, but I was proud of the girls for the way they hung in there.”
Hyatt made two foul shots with 4:56 left, extending Lavaca’s lead to nine. A short jumper by Sierra Lamb extended the Golden Arrows’ lead to 11 on the next possession.
Headley swished two foul shots with 2:26 left to give Lavaca a 13-point lead.
“Tonight was definitely a struggle — from the free throw line, from the field, it didn’t matter,” Dean said. “We had been playing good up until tonight.”
Lavaca 63, Mountainburg 52 (Men’s)
Andrew Wright is the type of player Lavaca coach Renner Reed can’t take off the floor.
He had 19 points and played stellar defense in Friday’s 63-52 win over short-handed Mountainburg.
The Dragons (2-6, 0-1) have battled sickness and injuries. Senior Scout Nichols, the team’s biggest defender at 6-2, missed Friday’s game with an injury.
Lavaca (7-2, 1-0) has had to reinvent itself, too. After graduating four starters, coach Reed’s club has played well.
“We played a little too much one-on-one and didn’t move the ball like we have been,” Reed said. “But I was really proud of our point guard. He had 19 points and plays really good defense.”
“We’re playing hard and we’ve battled some sickness and injuries,” Mountainburg coach Michael McDonald said. “We’re young, too. We just need to get everybody back, get healthy, and I think we’ll be okay.”