The Lady Mustang basketball team overcame a fourth-quarter scoring run by Clarke to secure a 49-47 win in South Central Conference action on Jan. 5.

Davis County led for much of the game but trailed by four at the half and also let the Indians start the fourth quarter with a 10-2 scoring run. Davis County was able to overcome both to get an important South Central Conference win.

Coach Jeff Graves is stressing defensive intensity with the girls this season and the effort is paying off. The girls had some moments where their intensity wasn’t what it needed to be in this game, which allowed Clarke to get back into the game.

Davis County started out the game strong with scoring from Briley Lough. Lough alone scored the first five Davis County points as the Lady Mustangs jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the opening quarter.

Clarke regrouped at the end of the first quarter and held Davis County scoreless for a five-minute time period. During that scoring drought, Clarke used the extra possessions to outscore Davis County 10-2. Including a couple of trips to the free-throw line, Clarke managed to erase the Lady Mustang lead and took control of the game with a 14-10 lead midway through the second quarter.

Jalee Lough got Davis County back on track with a three-pointer from the wing. Davis County scored just four points in the second quarter and was fortunate that the defense kept Clarke within striking distance at the break. Clarke led 18-14 going into the second half.

Davis County came out in the second half with a much more aggressive style of play. The girls were battling for rebounds. They were attacking the Clarke defense to get scores and were getting to the free-throw line.

Graves has also been stressing the importance of free-throw shooting with this team. Their additional attention to detail is paying off because the girls are shooting much better from the line since the holiday break. In fact, Davis County’s first six points of the second half all came from foul shots at the line.

That effort also helped Davis County tie the score at 20-20 with 6:35 left in the third quarter.

Davis County did a better job defensively to shut down the Clarke attack and also managed to get the ball out and run some fast breaks in the third quarter. That also led to easy scores for Davis County.

Davis County was also benefitting from a balanced scoring attack. Briley Lough and Morgan Petefish were establishing a presence in the paint on both ends of the court and were battling for scores. Sydney Henderson added a much needed three-pointer late in the third quarter. Jalee Lough also hit one in the final minute as Davis County took a 34-31 lead into the final quarter of play.

A pair of free throws from Briley Lough put Davis County up by five early in the fourth quarter. Defensive issues then allowed Clarke to get back into the game. The Indians went on a 10-0 scoring run over the next two and a half minutes, which put the Lady Mustangs down 41-36 with 4:40 to play.

Davis County went back to work and picked up the defensive intensity. The girls also became more aggressive offensively and got themselves to the foul line. Briley Lough and Sophia Young both hit several much-needed free throws in the final four minutes of play. Scores from Petefish also added to the effort as Davis County kept battling.

Davis County was down 45-39 with 3:12 left to play. The girls shut down the Clarke offense at that point and allowed just one more basket by the Indians in the final three minutes. Davis County still trailed 47-42 with 2:19 left and used transition points and free throws from Young and Lough to erase that deficit. Those two girls also hit free throws with 11 seconds left, and with three seconds left to play, to steal the 49-47 win away from Clarke.

“We really stressed defensive intensity over the break. I thought we denied the wings very well and put pressure on their point guard,” said Graves. “We had a seven-minute stretch where we didn’t score and a four-minute stretch where we didn’t score. Without our defensive effort that probably would have eliminated any chance we had to win.

“Late in the game, it seemed like we even played better defense and had some nice drives. We also picked up a couple of offensive rebounds. We have really stressed free throw shooting as well, and we hit just enough down the stretch to help us win,” said Graves. “The girls have a great attitude and really pull for everyone at all three levels of our high school program.”

Score by quarters

CL    7    18    31    47

DC    10    14    34    49

Scoring—Briley Lough, 15; Young, 12; Petefish, 10; Jalee Lough, 6; Sydney Henderson, 3; Macy Hill, 2 and Bella Tranquilino, 1.

Rebounds—Briley Lough, 10; Petefish, 8; Tranquilino, 4; Hill, 4; Ella Porter, 3; Young, 3; Stephyn Wilfawn, 1 and Jalee Lough, 1.

Assists—Young, 3 and Henderson, 2.

Steals—Briley Lough, 5; Young, 3; Petefish, 3; Hill, 1 and Wilfawn, 1.

Blocks—Isabelle Settles, 1; Briley Lough, 1; Tranquilino, 1 and Petefish, 1.