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Dickson girls basketball uses strong 1st quarter to take down Lone Grove

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Dickson's Chesleigh Apala goes up for a layup Friday against a Lone Grove defender. Apala finished with a game-high 20 points as the Lady Comets picked up a 51-26 victory.

DICKSON — Home-court advantage is always helpful, but it doesn’t usually lead to a double-digit lead after one quarter. Don’t tell that to the Dickson High School girls basketball team as a 17-0 run to start the game Friday helped propel the Lady Comets to a 51-26 victory over Lone Grove.

“We came out and honestly played to our potential,” Dickson head coach Terry Rogers said of the first quarter. “We were aggressive offensively. We were really motivated — we ran the floor well and we blocked out. We just played well. I thought we did a really good job defensively, but that first quarter looked like our young kids came together and really played well.”

The Lady Comets turned to five different athletes in the first quarter, with only one of those being a senior. That was a sign of things to come as sophomore Chesleigh Apala caught fire in the third quarter with 12 of her game-high 20 points.

“Chesleigh is so athletic and she’s only a sophomore, so she’s going to get better,” Rogers said. “She’ll get bigger, stronger and faster. It’s good for us.”

It was a different story for the Lady Horns, as they were taking the floor for just the second time since Jan. 15.

“We’re coming off a two-week layoff,” said Lone Grove assistant coach Michael Castonguay. “We played a game against Comanche the other day and we’re just trying to get back in a groove. One thing I told the girls tonight was, ‘We’re a lot better team than what we showed tonight and what we showed against Comanche. And before the break, we played a lot better.  We just have to find that groove again before the playoffs start and rebound from this.”

The Lady Comets know that feeling, too. They’ve experienced their share of ups and downs, but they’ve been fortunate enough to keep playing.

“Lone Grove has only played nine or 10 games, and this is our 18th ball game,” Rogers said. “So we’ve got to play some more ball games than them. Give them credit — they played hard. They didn’t quit playing, even with the kids they had in there. Tonight our kids were so much better.”

Apala wasn’t the only one to prove that, as Dickson had six other athletes finish with at least one point. Makayla Smith tallied 10, while Marya Southerland scored nine and Audrey Young chipped in six.

Meanwhile, Chesni O’Steen and Malea McMurtrey each tallied four points to pace the Lady Horns.

However, Lone Grove head coach Sam Hale was back on the bench Friday and that could be a sign of things turning around.

“He's back and of course he’s been doing this for 20 years,” Castonguay said. “He has all that knowledge and experience. As coaches, it doesn’t always come down to a magic wand or we don’t always have the answers sometimes. It just comes down to, we have to play a little bit better."

The Lady Horns (2-8) host Madill at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, while Dickson (9-9) is also in action Tuesday with a trip to Plainview.

Beau Bearden can be reached at bbearden@gannett.com or on Twitter @ArdmoreitePreps.