After taking the lead in the third quarter and making a game of it, the McDonald County girls basketball team couldn’t hold off the Aurora Lady Houn’ Dawgs on Thursday.
The score, 55-43, wasn’t indicative of how close the game actually was. It was a sloppy game full of turnovers, especially in the first half, but the Lady Mustangs played one of their best, if not the best, quarter of their season in the third, but couldn’t hang on at the end.
Backed by an 11-point barrage in the third quarter from Sarah Rickman, the Lady Mustangs fought back from a 26-18 halftime deficit to go on an 8-0 run and tie it at 26 on a layup by Rickman. Another layup by Rickman with 5:03 remaining in the third made it 30-28 for the Lady Mustangs.
They continued to grow their lead until a pair of three-point plays — one on a 3-pointer and another on a basket and a foul — by Lakin Waggoner pulled the Lady Houn’s back into the fracas. Aurora eventually re-gained the lead on a 3-pointer from Rachel Parker to make it 39-37 with 39 seconds left in the third.
That would be the final lead change in the game. Aurora led 41-37 at the start of the fourth quarter and went on to shoot 12-of-19 from the free throw line in the final period to preserve the victory.
Rickman went on to lead the Lady Mustangs with 19 points while Preslea Reece turned in 12. Courtni Smith tallied six points while Kali Hodson added four and Dani Pierce two.
Baylee Hilton and Waggoner both scored 11 points for the Lady Houn’s while Shania Siegrist poured in eight, Rachel Parker seven, Paige Whitlock six, Sydney Shoemaker and Kendra Eden four and Katie Juracek and Regain Cline two.