The Marshall County Tigerettes kept themselves in line to host a first round District tournament game by defeating fifth place Summit 43-34 on Homecoming to earn a split of the season series with the Lady Spartans.
Summit (8-13, 6-5 District) had defeated MCHS 52-48 in their previous meeting on Dec. 7 and held a 23-16 lead at halftime of Friday's contest.
The Lady Spartans, however, had trouble putting the ball in the basket in the second half, as the Tigerettes (8-12, 8-4 District) outscored Summit 27-11 over the final two quarters to pull out the nine-point win.
"We need to win every District game just to maintain our spot in the District standings. We want to move up and finish in the top three because we want to stay out of that fourth spot," said MCHS coach David Junkins.
Although Summit hit 15-of-23 free throws, the Lady Spartans made just 1-of-13 three points attempts and shot a woeful 20 percent (9-of-45) from the field overall, which included a 2-of-20 shooting performance in the second half.
"We just became dedicated to playing defense in the second half. We didn't do that in the first half," said Junkins. "I think we were a little overconfident at the start because we were playing at home, but we finally loosened up in the second half and played with more intensity."
The Tigerettes made only 9-of-21 free throws and finished with 16 field goals on 32 percent shooting, which included a 2-of-8 effort from beyond the arc. Marshall County also outrebounded Summit 35-32 and held a 13-11 edge on the offensive glass.
Teondra Crawford paced the Lady Spartans with 14 points. Alianah Pettus and Sydney Forrest followed Crawford with seven and five points respectively, while Caroline Patrick and Kylie Hicks each notched four points.
Marshall County inched out to an early 5-3 lead thanks to a Lyttle free throw and baskets from Morris and Reed, before Summit rattled off six straight points to pull ahead 9-5 midway through the first quarter.
Morris sandwiched a pair of jumpers around a basket by Forrest to narrow the gap to 11-9 at the end of the first period, but the Lady Spartans responded with an 11-3 spurt to open up a 22-12 advantage with 2:38 left in the second quarter.
After cutting the deficit to 23-16 at halftime thanks to a offensive put back by Lyttle and two Morris free throws, the Tigerettes outscored Summit 8-1 through the first 4:48 of the third period with the help of three points from Lyttle and a Moyers trey to tie the game at 24-24.
Pettus hit one-of-two free throws to put the Lady Spartans up 25-24, but Marshall County put together a 9-2 run behind six points from Lyttle and a Morris three to seize a 33-27 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Following two foul shots from Forrest, which closed the gap to 33-29, the Tigerettes tallied seven straight points on a Reed free throw, a layup by Lyttle, and a couple of baskets from Morris to forge a 40-29 lead with 2:04 left before eventually claiming the 43-34 victory.