LONE GROVE — It didn't take long for the Lone Grove Lady Longhorns to shed the rust of the offseason in their season opener.

The Horns raced out to a 22-6 lead in the first 8 minutes and never looked back, besting the Lexington Lady Bulldogs 56-45, Tuesday, from the Gary Scott Sports Center.

LONE GROVE — It didn’t take long for the Lone Grove Lady Longhorns to shed the rust of the offseason in their season opener.

The Horns raced out to a 22-6 lead in the first 8 minutes and never looked back, besting the Lexington Lady Bulldogs 56-45, Tuesday, from the Gary Scott Sports Center.

Lone Grove coach Jeff Word said it was a good start for his team which featured sophomores Abbi Atkinson, Anna Black, Cheyanne Davis and Lydia Saavedra in the starting lineup with senior guard Taleigh Nail and junior Shelby Stevenson coming off the bench.

“The start was huge,” Word said. “We’re young, but our eight (in the rotation) played really well together. Everyone did their job tonight.”

Lone Grove shared the wealth offensively, with junior Shelby Stevenson leading the Horns with 9 points, while Atkinson, Nail and senior Hayden Epley each chipped in 8 points in the season opener.

Word said after one game there’s definitely room for improvement, but was pleased with his team’s effort. 

“We’re one game in,” Word said. “Not all the ingredients are there yet. We need to get back in game shape, but I’m pleased with the effort and I’m pleased with the win.”

After entering the second quarter in a 16-point hole, Lexington ramped up the pressure defensively with a full-court press. After forcing several turnovers, the Lady Bulldogs went on a 17-10 run, cutting the Lone Grove lead to 32-23 at half.

“At first we were caught off guard (by the press), but we took a step back and slowed things down and I think we adjusted really well as the game went on,” Taleigh Nail said.

Nail put a stop to the Lady Bulldog run at the start of the third quarter, hitting her second three-pointer of the game and the 126th of her high school career, sparking a strong defensive quarter for the Horns. 

The Lady Horns held Lexington to just 9 points in the third quarter, giving them a 45-32 lead heading into the fourth in large part due to the effort of sophomore Lydia Saavedra and junior Shelby Stevenson.

“Lydia Saavedra played great defense down the stretch and Shelby did a great job coming off the bench and cleaning up the boards,” Word said.

Stevenson scored all of her points in the second half, six of which came after the forward pulled in big offensive rebounds for the Horns.

The Horns held off the Lexington full-court press in the fourth quarter, extending the lead to as many as 15 points before a late really by the Lady Bulldogs cut the lead to 56-45.

The Lady Horns will return to action against the Dickson Comets at home, Friday, from the Gary Scott Sports Center.