ANDERSON -- McDonald County's girls dug themselves an early hole Thursday, watching Carthage score the game's first 12 points.
The Lady Mustangs got back in it, scoring the next six points, but the Lady Tigers had an answer.
Carthage's 13-0 run to start the second quarter was enough to build a sizable lead, and the Lady Tigers went on to post a 53-32 victory over the Lady Mustangs at Mustang Arena.
The Lady Mustangs had their moments, including a strong finish in the fourth quarter, but McDonald County coach Sean Crane pointed back to the opening two quarters. After trailing 12-6 at the end of the first quarter, Carthage outscored the Lady Mustangs 15-2 in the second quarter.
"We didn't play very good in the second at all," Crane said. "We didn't play very well the first two minutes (of the first quarter). We literally just gave them 12 points. You can't do that."
Carthage's Kianna Yates would give McDonald County fits all night long.
Yates hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key for the first points of the game, and her steal and score capped the 12-0 start for the Lady Tigers.
McDonald County got on the scoreboard with two free throws from Addy Leach with 3:59 left in the first quarter.
Roslynn Huston had a driving basket to make it 12-4 and Carlee Cooper followed with a steal and score as the Lady Mustangs pulled within 12-6 at the end of the first quarter.
But it would be a while before McDonald County would score again.
Like the opening minutes of the first quarter, the second quarter was filled with Lady Mustang turnovers facing the Carthage full-court pressure defense.
"They press," Crane said of the Lady Tigers. "That's what they do."
Yates went back to work on offense, scoring six of her 11 first-half points.
After a basket from Carthage's Landry Cochran later in the first half, the Lady Tigers held a 25-6 lead.
"We played hard," Crane said. "We've got to figure out a way to score. Some of that is we've got to finish easy buckets. We had chances in the second quarter to keep it close. We just missed some layups."
Huston stopped the 15-0 Carthage run with a basket inside, but it would be the only points of the quarter for the Lady Mustangs, who trailed 27-8 at halftime.
Carthage's Lauran Choate hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Mustangs 10-6 in the quarter.
Both teams scored 16 points apiece in the fourth quarter.
Leach came alive with six points, while Huston had four, including the Lady Mustangs' only 3-pointer.
"We finished strong," Crane said. "We've played with everybody for pieces. It's just we've got to put four quarters together. Tonight we played a decent fourth. It's usually different. It's usually about two quarters. It's usually a different one every time. It changes on which one it is."
Yates finished with 22 points to lead Carthage, while Choate had 14.
Leach led the Lady Mustangs with 11 points, while Huston had nine, Megan Elwood four and Cooper, Nevaeh Dodson, Reagan Myrick and Jacie Frencken each with two.
Carthage 53, McDonald County 32
Carthage (6-7): Yates 22, Choate 14, P. Probert 7, Boyd 4, Shannon 3, Cochran 2, R. Probert 1.
McDonald County (1-11): Leach 11, Huston 9, Elwood 4, Cooper 2, Dodson 2, Myrick 2, Frencken 2.
McDonald County 40, Reeds Spring 25
The Lady Mustangs picked up a victory on Monday night at Reeds Spring.
McDonald County led 9-6 after the first quarter and 21-14 at halftime. The Lady Mustangs (2-11) increased their lead to 31-19 going into the fourth quarter.
Addy Leach led the Lady Mustangs with 14 points, while Carlee Cooper had eight and Megan Elwood seven.