The Mason County girls' basketball team was able to utilize its pressure defense, hot shooting and a long run in a win over Lewis County Friday night at The Fieldhouse.
The Lady Royals scored 43 first-half points, turned the Lady Lions over 14 times and ended on a 15-0 run to cruise to a 61-37 win in the US Bank Mike Murphy Classic.
"We started the game a lot sharper, crisper tonight. The girls' knew they were sloppy Tuesday night, we had a good practice Wednesday and responded tonight," Lady Royals coach Brad Cox said.
It was the hot hands of AJ Reed, Victoria Brooks, Emma Taylor and Kara Moran doing most of the damage in the first half as they combined for 41 of the 43 Lady Royals points.
Taylor and Rachel Payne were inserted into the starting lineup, Taylor with her second straight start.
"I told the girls' this morning I think we have nine girls when healthy that are capable of starting. It's going to be kind of going with the game flow and a game-by-game and a matchup situation type deal. We went with the different lineup tonight and we'll continue to see what happens day-to-day," Cox said.
Taylor had nine in the half and ended with 14, trailing just Reed's 16 for the game-high.
"She can get to the rim, score in transition and is very athletic. We wanted to give her an opportunity and she responded tonight," Cox said.
After a first quarter in which the Lady Royals allowed just six points and forced nine turnovers, taking a 13-6 lead into the second, back-to-back three's from Brooks and Reed helped start the separation in the second, building a 21-8 edge.
Abby Applegate and Jalyssa Cortez scored five straight for the Lady Lions to make it 23-15, then it was all Lady Royals from there over the final four minutes of the first half, building a 43-19 lead by halftime.
The second half was slowed down in pace and the Lady Lions were able to take better care of the ball, committing just four turnovers and playing even with the Lady Royals at 18-18, creating the 61-37 final.
Gracie Yates led Lewis County with 11 points on the night and tied for the team lead in rebounds with six. Tierra Tully also pulled down six rebounds and added seven points. Allison Voyles chipped in six points.
The loss dropped them to 3-5 on the year and will host South Point, Ohio on Friday in Vanceburg.
Reed led Mason with 16 followed by Taylor's 14, Brooks scored 13 and Moran added eight as nine different Lady Royals entered the scoring column in the runaway victory.
They'll kick off Friday's action at The Murph, hosting Nicholas County at 6:30 p.m.
The win got the Lady Royals over the .500 mark for the first time this season at 5-4.
"We just need to continue to get better. Take advantage of our time in the gym, it's been limited so we just need to stay fresh and each day is a new day and we need to treat it like that and approach it the right way," Cox said.