HEALDTON — Sometimes during a season, a team has to play without one of its best players on the court.

HEALDTON — Sometimes during a season, a team has to play without one of its best players on the court.

The Healdton Lady Bulldogs had to experience this Thursday night, but managed to handle it with flying colors.

A balanced scoring attack helped propel the Lady Bulldogs to a 44-40 victory over the Ryan Cowgirls in the opener of the Bulldog Bash tournament at the Healdton Gymnasium.

Healdton will play Ringling in the semifinals tonight at 7 p.m.

For much of the second half Thursday, Healdton was forced to play without Macey Howell, who fell into foul trouble.

Despite missing one of their key players, the Lady Bulldogs were able to hold off a stubborn effort from the Cowgirls, who got to within two points multiple times in the third quarter, eventually tying the game at 28-28.

Ryan actually led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter, before Healdton came back to lead 20-15 at the halftime break.

With 1:21 left in the third and the game tied, the Lady Bulldogs managed to keep the Cowgirls off the board, eventually grabbing two points to lead 30-28 going to the fourth.

The Lady Bulldogs biggest lead in the fourth was six points at 41-35.

Howell led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points followed Torree Wingo with 10 points and Heavenly Kirkpatrick with 10 points each. 

Whisper Love added eight points in the game for Healdton.