STONEWALL — For the first four minutes of Thursday night’s girls contest between host Stonewall and Pittsburg inside the Murphy-Roberts gymnasium, it was hard to tell the Lady Longhorns were supposed to be the heavy favorites.

The Lady Longhorns had to survive a red-hot Pittsburg start before using a disruptive defensive effort to push past the Lady Panthers for a 64-45 win.

Stonewall improved to 8-3 on the year while Pittsburg fell to 0-10.

In the boys contest, a game-changing 14-0 second-quarter Stonewall surge helped the Longhorns run off and leave Pittsburg en route to a convincing 77-43 victory.

Coach Wes Moreland’s team improved to 8-3 while the Panthers dropped to 2-10.

Stonewall travels to Asher tonight for a Pontotoc Conference matchup.

GIRLS

Stonewall 64, Pittsburg 45

The Lady Panthers hit five of their first seven field goals and added a free throw and when Ariel Cross hit a long jumper from the baseline on an inbounds play, Pittsburg was on top 11-3.

The Lady Longhorns regrouped, scoring 13 of the next 17 points to grab a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter and then Cherokee Brown converted back-to-back buckets in the span of about six seconds that ignited a 10-0 Stonewall run midway in the second quarter that gave the hosts some breathing room.

“I thought they were never going to miss,” Stonewall head coach Christie Jennings said of Pittsburg’s early streak. “And we weren’t playing that bad defensively. They were just making some shots.”

After Pittsburg’s Taylor Billingsley hit a 3-pointer to stop the Stonewall run, the Lady Longhorns finished the second quarter by scoring seven straight points — including four in a row by guard Tesia Worcester to push the SHS advantage to 37-21 at the break.

The Lady Panthers hit just 2-of-12 second-quarter field goals compared to an 8-of-15 showing by Stonewall.

The Lady Longhorns’ lead reached 22 — at 45-23 — thanks on an 8-2 start to the third quarter and grew to 60-34 on Brown’s last bucket of the game.

Shelby Lackey, who led Stonewall’s first-quarter comeback with eight points during the 13-4 run, finished with 15 points to lead all scorers. Brown had 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and added three steals while Tesia Worcester also hit double digits with 12 points to go with seven takeaways.

Tyla Transue added eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds while Kayla Byrd hit a trio of 3-points for nine points.

Billingsley, a freshman, led Pittsburg with 12 points while another freshman, Cherokee Anderson, added eight points and seven rebounds.

Stonewall forced 20 Pittsburg turnovers while SHS starters finished with just six combined.

BOYS

Stonewall 77, Pittsburg 43

The Panthers simply couldn’t handle Stonewall’s defensive pressure — led by Bronson Gore and J.P. Maples, who combined for 11 of the Longhorns’ 18 steals in the contest. Those swipes led to a number of easy layups as the hosts bolted to leads of 19-5 and 26-11.

Leading 28-14 early in the second period, Stonewall scored 14 unanswered points to break the game open at 42-14. Two Maples free throws expanded the SHS lead to 30 at 46-16 at the 3:24 mark of the second quarter before Pittsburg scored the final six points of the period and trailed 46-22 at the break.

After Cord Hendley sank a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, Stonewall had its biggest lead of the game at 71-32.

Along with their strong defensive outings, Gore and Maples also led the SHS offense with 15 points each. Josh Scribner followed with 13 points and eight rebounds while speedy guard Malcolm Casey added 10 points.

Pittsburg, which was forced into 22 turnovers, got 12 points from Conner Harris before he was forced from the game after a hard fourth-quarter fall. Cody Duke just missed double digits with nine points and also had a game-high 10 rebounds and three steals for PHS.

Stonewall is likely without starting guard Jake Williams for the remainder of the season who is out with what is feared to be an ACL injury suffered in Tuesday night’s 68-52 win over Wapanucka.

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