Whitney Garinger, left, and Deni Jacobs traps Lady Duster Anna McDonald Tuesday in the Beaver Dome. Jacobs suffered an injury in the first quarter, and Beaver rallied from a 16-6 deficit to cut the lead to 20-18. But Heights was able to extend the lead in the second half for the 67-52 win. Photo courtesy Brent Lansden/Beaver Herald Democrat
By RICK YEARICK and EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
BEAVER, OKLA. — Southwestern Heights survived a battle with the Beaver Lady Dusters Tuesday in the Duster Dome, but an early injury to Deni Jacobs may have been more costly.
Leading by 10 in the first quarter when Jacobs was injured, Beaver went on a three-point tear and narrowed the gap to 20-18, but the Lady Mustangs recovered and held on for the 67-52 win.
“Deni is going to get checked out,” Lady Mustang coach Barry Mellen said. “It’s something she should be able to return from this season.”
Without Jacobs on the floor, the No. 1 Lady Mustangs struggled to control the perimeter shooting of the Lady Dusters. Beaver connected on 10 threes in the game.
Heights jumped out to the lead in the first quarter by dominating the paint.
Southwestern Heights had a 16-6 lead when Jacobs went down with a knee-related injury.
Beaver was applying a full court press, and Lindsay Garinger made a pass to Jacobs who caught the ball but an awkward turn sent Jacobs to the ground.
While the Lady Mustangs tried to adjust, Beaver rallied.
The Lady Dusters provided strong defense and found their range from the three-point line to narrow the gap.
Leading by two, the Lady Mustangs made a run in the final three minutes of the half to extend the lead to 29-20, but the Lady Dusters hit a last-second three to narrow the deficit to six at half.
The Lady Dusters cotninued to force turnovers and hit threes in the third quarter. Another buzzer-beating three by Beaver narrowed the gap to 40-39 after the third.
But Beaver was physical in the comeback, and the Lady Mustangs went to the free throw line 15 times in the fourth quarter and made 14 of them. Beaver also hit some shots, but the Lady Mustangs stretched a seven-point game in the final five minutes into a 15-point victory, 67-52.
The Lady Mustangs were led by Britny Butler’s 22 points, Heidi Brown scored 16, Garinger scored 12 and Kathy Eakes had nine.
Beaver’s Erin Becker scored 27 points, and Anna McDoanld scored eight.
“I was pleased with the free throw shooting down the stretch,” Mellen said. “This was a tough game. It is nice to be tested and to see how our girls will respond.”
Heights will play Holcomb Friday at the Corral. The Lady Mustangs can win the Hi-Plains League regular season title outright with a win.
Beaver will play Texhoma at Texhoma at 6:30 p.m. Friday.