By Bill Baker
MARIETTA — It was a tale of two halves Monday as the Lone Grove Lady Horns rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to overtake and defeat the Marietta Lady Indians 51-43 at Marietta High School.
It was both teams’ final regular season and Lake Country Conference game.
After hitting just one-of-three from the charity stripe the entire first half, Lone Grove’s adjustments at halftime involved a smothering second-half defense and an offense intent on getting to the line. By contrast, the Lady Horns knocked down 21-of-27 from the stripe over the game’s final 16 minutes to take the win.
Marietta (6-15 overall and 2-7 in conference play) senior forward Shawna Dewey returned for this final game.
Dewey, who had been sidelined with an injury for most of the regular season, played sparingly and finished with three points.
The Lady Indians took a 14-7 lead after the first period, and added to that advantage in the second quarter, to assume a 26-11 halftime lead. Marietta hit just seven shots from the floor in the first half, but they made up for it at the line. The Lady Indians were more aggressive offensively in the first half and went to the line repeatedly.
Lone Grove (10-12, 3-6) had turnover problems plaguing them the first half, and that limited their offensive chances. The Lady Horns turned the ball over 17 times in the first half, but had just 12 in the second half during their rally.
Lone Grove started the third period on fire. Junior guard Hannah Howard was the catalyst from the floor, as she knocked down five two-pointers and a three-pointer in the period — and added two-of-three from the line. In the third period, Lone Grove outscored Marietta 21-5 and took a 32-31 lead to the fourth.
“We played a great first half, but in the second half we came out flat,” Marietta coach Jason Schroeder said. “Lone Grove got the momentum switched their way, and we were unable to stop it. We did manage to get back ahead by a few points, but down the stretch they did what it took to win the game.
“We had some chances there in the first half to stretch our lead, and that would have made a lot of difference. It would have meant a 20-22-point lead instead of the 15-point lead we had. But we failed to convert on those easy shots, and they came back to haunt us.
“We were glad to have Shawna back. We could not use her very much, because she had just one practice since being released to play. Hopefully another week’s practice will get her where she needs to be by Saturday’s playoffs against Lindsay.”
Lone Grove went on to outscore Marietta 19-12 in the fourth to pull away for the nine-point victory.
Howard led the Lady Horns with 26 points, including seven-of-eight from the line. Senior forward Savannah Throneberry had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven steals for Lone Grove.
The Lady Indians were led by Landry Willis’ 12 points, and Reagan Bean chipped in seven points.