ADA — Perkins-Tryon head coach Jerry Burnett admitted his team was a little rattled by playing before a large Day 1 Kerr Center crowd Wednesday afternoon at the 2005 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.

The Lady Demons finally got rid of those Mid-America jitters midway through the third quarter.

After committing 18 first-half turnovers in the first two quarters which left them trailing 17-16 at the break, the Lady Demons used a key 13-2 that carried into the fourth period that sent Perkins to a lopsided 51-34 first-round win over Elk City.

Perkins — ranked No. 7 in Class 3A — stayed unbeaten at 9-0 on the year while Elk City (No. 18 in Class 4A) fell to 5-4.

Perkins will meet Frontier (8-2, No. 1 in Class A) in tonight’s late 8 p.m. semifinal matchup. Elk City meets Elgin in a 3 p.m. loser’s bracket contest.

The Lady Demons have just one non-starting senior on the roster and their youth showed in the first half as the Elkettes were able to stay close thanks to the rash of Perkins turnovers.

“The big atmosphere kind of scared us a little bit. We’re young,” Burnett said. “We were just out of sync.”

Elk City star Jennifer DeGarmo scored her team’s first five points of the third quarter to give the Elkettes a short-lived 22-21 advantage.

Freshman Ashley Rush then converted on a three-point play for Perkins and the Lady Demons followed with baskets by Laiken Lester and Courtney Bayhylle that started the game-changing surge. Sophomore Liberty Payne then scored Perkins’ next six points — including the first bucket of the fourth quarter — that put the Lady Demons on top 34-24 with 7:23 left.

“We just needed to relax and come in and run the stuff we’re used to running and things loosened up in the second half for us,” Burnett said.

After a free throw by Christina Albert cut the Perkins lead to 42-34, the Lady Demons scored the final nine points of the game to win going away.

“We’re happy. We were just concentrating on playing that first ballgame and getting that first win,” Burnett said.

Bayhylle single-handedly kept Perkins close in the first half, scoring 13 of her team’s 16 points. She hit 4-of-6 field goals and 2-of-2 free throws while the rest of the Lady Demons went a combined 1-of-8 from the field and 0-of-4 from the charity stripe during that same span. Bayhylle finished with 19 points and five rebounds for the winners.

Payne followed with 14 points and five more boards for Perkins.

After the rash of turnovers in the first half, the Lady Demons committed just two over the final two frames.

DeGarmo led all scorers with 17 points but was only 6-of-14 from the field against a stiff Perkins’ defensive effort.

“We were going to double down each time when she got the ball down low,” Burnett explained.

DeGarmo also managed a game-high 10 rebounds for the Elkettes.

Albert hit 4-of-7 field goals and scored 11 but was the only other Elk City player to reach double digits.

In the ugly first half, the two teams combined for 33 points and 31 turnovers.