MARIETTA — As is often the case in sports, it’s not how you start but rather how you finish that matters the most.
MARIETTA — As is often the case in sports, it’s not how you start but rather how you finish that matters the most. The Healdton Lady Bulldogs found this to be all too true on Thursday afternoon. Following a less than perfect first half performance, the Lady Bulldogs stormed back with an excellent second half run to overtake the Thackerville Lady Wildcats and win 51-42, earning them a place in the semifinals of the Ronnie Moore Invitational tournament at Marietta High School. Healdton will be in action at 7 p.m. this evening. In the first quarter, Torree Wingo drained a three point shot which gave the Lady Bulldogs an early lead just 51 seconds into the game. Moments later, Thackerville tied the game with trey of its own, before Wingo struck again to give Healdton a 6-3 lead at the 5:58 mark of the first quarter. The rest of the first quarter though was all about the Lady Wildcats. Thackerville ended the opening frame on a 7-2 run to lead 13-8 going to the second quarter. It was much of the same before halftime, as cold shooting plagued the Lady Bulldogs to end the first half. Healdton managed just nine points before the end of the first half, while Thackerville scored 14 of its own to lead 27-17 going to the break. But after the teams came back from the locker room, there was a shift in momentum and the Lady Bulldogs fortunes. Healdton began to get its shooting groove back from the field, as the deficit began to shrink. The Lady Bulldogs got to within one point at 30-29 with less than four minutes to go in the third, before closing out the quarter with a 6-5 run to keep it at a one point game going to the fourth at 35-34. Thackerville stayed in control throughout much of the fourth quarter, but the Lady Wildcats resistance was ultimately cracked with 1:54 left in regulation as the Lady Bulldogs took a 43-42 lead. Healdton made clutch baskets and sank free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. Macey Howell led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points, followed by Torree Wingo with 13 points. Brynli Tucker put in 11 points with Heavenly Kirkpatrick scoring five points.