ADA — The Mustang Lady Broncos used an amazing second-half defensive performance to maul Marietta 57-32 in the first round of the 29th Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic Wednesday night before a large crowd at the Kerr Activities Center.

Mustang, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A, improved to 6-0 on the year while Marietta (No. 10 in Class 3A) fell to 7-3.

The Lady Broncos led 36-24 at the half after a big second quarter, but Marietta got two quick third-quarter scores — a 3-pointer by Jordan Thurman and a basket inside by Skye Foster — that cut the Mustang lead to 36-29. Mustang committed three straight turnovers during the mini Marietta run, forcing head coach Nichole Copeland to burn a time out.

“We talked at halftime about breaking the game open in the first three minutes (of the third quarter) and then we come out and turn it over and turn it over. They made me call a time out,” she explained.

Copeland’s speech during the break in the action was short, but to the point.

“I just asked the guys what was on the front of their shirts ... and they said ‘Mustang’ and I said ‘Well let’s play Mustang basketball then and quit giving up those easy baskets ... and play the game like it’s supposed to be played,’” Copeland said.

And the Lady Broncos listened.

Mustang held the Lady Indians without a field goal over the final 14-plus minutes of the game. During that stretch, Marietta went 0-for-17 from the field.

In fact, after two Thurman free throws at the 4:57 mark of the third quarter, Mustang reeled off 16 unanswered points to go on top 54-31 with 5:43 to play.

Marietta hung around for a quarter, tying the game at 10-10 on a Thurman 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the opening period.

However, Mustang scored the next 10 points in a row and the Lady Indians really never threatened again.

“We just needed to settle down offensively,” Copeland said of her team’s slow Mid-America start. “We missed a lot of easy shots early and got a little impatient. We tried to make the great play instead of making the easy play offensively. Once we got them to settle down and be patient things kind of opened up for us.”

Thurman would lead all scorers with 17 points for Marietta but next was Heather Baasinger who had just six.

Mustang used a balanced attack led by sisters Lucy and Lacy Ramon. Lacy — who got busted open near the top of her eye thanks to catching an elbow at the 6:08 mark of the third quarter — scored six quick points upon her return later in the period to finish with team-high honors at 14.

“She’s a tough kid. And those kinds of things rub off on the rest of your players,” Copeland said of Lacy’s triumphant return.

Lucy added 12 points as the two siblings finished a combined 11-of-13 from the field.

Lauren Reel struggled from the field but still managed to score a dozen points thanks in part to a 4-of-4 showing at the charity stripe.

Jordan Pyle, a 5-11 sophomore, had a superb outing off the bench for Mustang with eight points and nine rebounds. The Lady Broncos won the battle of the boards 37-25.

“It felt good to come down and put a pretty good game together,” Copeland said.

Mustang has yet to be truly challenged this season. Their closest margin of victory has been 16 points.

“Sometimes they don’t realize how good they can be. Which is OK right now in December,” Copeland said.

That could change tonight when the Lady Broncos battle Dover — 16-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class B — in a 6:30 p.m. semifinal showdown.

“We expect to get tested and want to get tested,” Copeland said. “The deeper you go in this tournament the better the teams will get. We’re not expecting to come in here by any means and just roll over people. We weren’t expecting to win by 20 tonight.”