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story.lead_photo.caption RICK PECK/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS McDonald County's Megan Mills looks to score while being defended by Lamar's Lauren Compton during the Lady Mustangs' 44-37 loss on Jan. 4 at MCHS.

The Aurora Lady Houns' overcame a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter to claim a 39-35 win over the McDonald County Lady Mustangs on Jan. 5 at Aurora High School.

McDonald County used a 10-0 run to open the third quarter to erase Aurora's 19-13 lead. The Lady Mustangs led 25-24 entering the fourth quarter before stretching the margin to 30-26 early in the fourth quarter.

But Aurora reeled off 10 straight points -- including a three-pointer by Emily Moore with 5:41 left to tie the game -- to take a 36-30 lead with 3:19 left.

McDonald County's Kristin Penn cut the lead to 36-32 with a putback of an offensive rebound with 1:06 remaining. Aurora's Elizabeth Martin made one of two free throws with 54.6 seconds left before McDonald County's Megan Mill hit a three-pointer with 40.3 seconds left to cut the margin to 37-35.

But Aurora sealed the win on Moore's basket with 31 seconds left.

McDonald County led, 9-5, at the end of the first quarter before Aurora used a 14-4 advantage in the second period to take a 19-13 lead at intermission.

"We came out in the first half and did everything we wanted to defensively, but when we had a chance to extend our lead from five or six to probably double digits, we would miss layups or throw it away," said Coach Blake Short. "We probably had 20 turnovers in the first half against a zone press. We have actually been taking care of the ball really well the last three games. I was dumbfounded at halftime. We came out and made a run in the third, but we are struggling to finish. We play so hard. We aren't real deep, but the girls battled really hard."

Penn and Sam Frazier scored 10 points each to lead McDonald County. Rita Santillan, Ragan Wilson and Mills added five points each to round out the scoring for McDonald County.

Moore scored 10 points and Martin nine to lead Aurora.

McDonald County cruised to a 49-29 win in the junior varsity game. The Lady Mustangs jumped out to a 16-2 lead at the end of the first period. McDonald County led 29-14 at halftime and 37-21 entering the fourth quarter.

Addy Mick scored 14 points and Laney Wilson 12 to lead the Lady Mustangs. Caitlyn Barton added eight points, followed by Alexia Estrada with six, Katie Kester four, Sydney Killion and Jaylie Sanny two each and Lily Allman one.

The Lady Mustangs are now 0-12 entering their Jan. 11 game against Seneca at MCHS. The junior varsity game begins at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity.

Lamar

The Lamar Tigers built a 34-22 lead at the end of three quarters and then held in the fourth quarter to beat the Lady Mustangs 44-37 on Jan. 4 at MCHS.

Lamar opened the fourth quarter with six straight points to take a 38-22 lead before the Lady Mustangs began a late rally.

Santillan hit a short jumper before Mills hit a three-pointer and a free throw and Wilson made charity sandwiched around a basket by Kaitlyn Mooney to cut the lead to 40-29.

Mooney hit another short jumper to extend the lead to 13, but the Lady Mustangs scored six straight points, four free throws by Wilson and a basket by Penn, to cut the lead to 42-35.

Lamar's Ashley Vaught hit a pair of free throws with under a minute left to seal the win before Penn closed out the scoring with a late basket.

Frazier scored 10 points and Wilson eight to lead McDonald County. Rounding out the scoring for the Lady Mustangs were Santillan and Penn with six each, Mills five and Aspen Bowman two.

Mooney finished with 15 points to lead Lamar.

Lamar broke a 12-12 tie at the end of the first quarter by holding McDonald County scoreless in the second period on the way to a 39-20 win in the junior varsity game.

Barton led the Lady Mustangs with seven points, followed by Mick and Laney Wilson with six each and Killion one.

Cassville

The inside-out-game of 5-6 sophomore guard Madry McCrackin and 6-3 senior center Madi Stokes led the Cassville Lady Wildcats to a 40-37 win over McDonald County on Jan. 8 at Cassville High School.

Stokes scored 14 points, 10 in the second half, and McCrackin added 10 to help the Lady Wildcats overcome a career-high 14 point performance by McDonald County freshman Kristin Penn.

Cassville led 12-11 at the end of the first period and 16-15 at halftime.

Penn's short jumper to start the second half gave the Lady Mustangs a 17-16 lead, but Cassville answered with seven straight points for a 23-17 lead on the way to taking a 29-21 lead at the end of the third quarter.

McDonald County got no closer in the fourth quarter other than the final score, which included a three-pointer by Frazier at the buzzer.

Frazier added eight points and Mills seven to go with Penn's 14. Rounding out the scoring were Wilson and Santillan with four points each.

McDonald County used a 13-6 advantage in the third quarter to break open a close game on the way to a 37-26 win in the junior varsity game.

The Lady Mustangs led 11-4 at the end of the first and 20-16 at halftime before stretching their lead to 33-22 going into the fourth quarter.

Laney Wilson scored 17 points to lead McDonald County. Sanny added six points, followed by Allman with five, Mick four, Barton and Killion two each and Kester one.

Sports on 01/11/2018

Print Headline: Lady Mustangs Struggle to Finish

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