"Give the girls some credit, we dug down deep and realized we could play with them in the second half," said MCHS head coach David Junkins. "But that first half was ugly basketball. With about four minutes left to go in the first quarter it was 2-0 and then all of a sudden the wheels came off for us defensively."
An Allison Hargrove bucket opened up the scoring in the ballgame and Michala Hopkins ended the first quarter with a basket for MCHS.
However, in between Lewis County took advantage of six Tigerettes' turnovers thanks to a pressing defense to score 10 points for a six-point lead.
In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers kept the heat on, forcing eight additional MCHS miscues with the ball.
By the time Marshall County finally scored again on a Marissa Lyttle basket midway through the period, Lewis County had built a 21-6 lead.
Leanna Amacher, who led all scorers in the game with 16 points, scored half of those in the second quarter, while Holly Hall and Hayden Rawden added three-pointers as the Lady Panthers led by 20 points at the half.
In the third period, MCHS could only cut the lead to 16 points by the end of the quarter on just three field goals, but converted 12 out of 13 free throws, including a 5-5 effort at the charity stripe by Hopkins.
The Lady Panthers would surge ahead again on back-to-back baskets before a Lyttle basket and two free throws by Morgan Moyers made it a 12-point game at 51-39.
The Tigerettes forced a five-second call on the Lady Panthers, but could not convert at the other end.
Both squads scored six points apiece as time wound down, giving Lewis County the victory.
Lyttle finished with 12 points, leading MCHS in the scoring column and Hopkins ended up in double figures with 10 points.
Hargrove finished with eight points, Morris scored five, Mecia Reed and Kemesha McFall both added three points and Moyers finished with a deuce.
Mallory Floyd and Morgan McKissack had nine points apiece for Lewis County, Rawden ended up with eight, Bailey Feichtinger scored seven, Hall threw down two treys and Marnaye Woolridge scored two points.
The loss broke a two-game league winning streak for the Tigerettes (2-6, 2-1), have who three more District 12-AA games before Christmas, including a trip to Summit on Friday before hosting Page next Tuesday and travelling to Fairview next Friday.
"We can't have too many more ballgames like this," said Junkins. "Page is by far the favorite this year and everybody else is fighting for second place and hopefully we will be right there as every ballgame is going to count towards the district as it comes down to the wire, so we have to perform every night."