ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — The guests saved their best for last.
The Alexander girls basketball team led host Meigs by six points with just over a quarter to play in Monday’s Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division tilt at Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium, but the Lady Spartans finished the night with a 26-to-11 run for a 69-48 win.
After Alexander (2-0, 1-0 TVC Ohio) scored the opening bucket of the game, Meigs (2-2, 1-2) took its only lead of the night on a triple by Andrea Mahr 1:18 into play. AHS was back in front after a pair of free throws from Marlee Grinstead 17 seconds later, and after the hosts tied it at five, a foul shot by Kara Meeks gave the guests the lead for good with 4:24 left in the opening stanza.
The Lady Spartans were up 16-8 by the end of the first, and then started the second period with an 8-0 run. The Lady Marauders fought back to within eight points, at 29-21 with 2:21 left, but the Red and Black made the final basket of the half and headed into the break on top 31-21.
AHS scored the first four points of the second half, before a 16-to-8 run got Meigs to within six points, at 43-37, with 24 seconds left in the third period.
Alexander hit a two-pointer to close the third, and then scored eight points in a row to start the finale. MHS cut its deficit back to single digits, at 53-44, with 4:23 left in regulation, but the Lady Spartans outscored the hosts 16-to-4 over the remainder, hitting 12-of-14 foul shots in the game-clinching run.
In the 69-48 decision, AHS made 21-of-29 (72.4 percent) free throws, while Meigs went 10-for-12 (83.3 percent) at the charity stripe. The Lady Marauders were 17-of-56 (30.4 percent) from the field, including 4-of-16 (25 percent) from three-point range, while Alexander was 22-of-52 (42.3 percent) from the field, and 4-of-13 (30.8 percent) from beyond the arc.
Meigs claimed a 32-to-28 advantage in rebounds, including 11-to-10 on the offensive end. However, the hosts had 25 turnovers, 11 more than AHS. The Lady Marauders combined for seven blocked shots, six assists and six steals, while Alexander recorded 16 assists, 15 steals and six rejections.
Rylee Lisle led the Lady Marauders with 16 points and seven rebounds, combining three two-pointers, a triple and a perfect 7-for-7 day at the foul line. Mallory Hawley was next with 14 points on four two-pointers, a trifecta, and a 3-for-3 performance at the free throw stripe.
Mahr hit a team-best two three-pointers on her way to eight points, Hannah Durst and Delana Wright both finished with four points, while Keaghan Wolfe scored two.
Wright and Hawley tied for a team-high with two assists each. Leading Meigs on defense, Hawley rejected four shots and had one one steal, Wright ended with two steals and two blocks, while Lisle picked up two steals and one block.
Grinstead led the Lady Spartans with team-highs of 26 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and five blocked shots, as well as four steals. Meeks recorded 12 points and a game-high seven steals in the win, Brooke Casto scored 11 points, while Jadyn Mace tallied eight points. Erin Scurlock contributed seven points to the winning cause, Emma Brooks added three, and Amora Albano chipped in with two.
These teams are slated to meet again on Jan. 25 in Albany.
Next, the Lady Marauders are scheduled to visit Nelsonville-York on Thursday.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.