HOUSTON — Defense wins championships, so the adage goes, which is why the La Marque girls basketball team is still in the Class 3A title hunt.

La Marque held Houston Jack Yates to just 10 first-half points and withstood a last-ditch rally from the Lady Lions in a 48-40 bi-district round victory at Barnett Arena on Tuesday night

The Lady Cougars will return to the same court later this week to face Hardin-Jefferson.

Coach Monique Everett got double-digit production from leading scorers Brittany Bennett (16) and Armoni Green (11) as La Marque bolted out to a 25-10 halftime lead and led by as much as 18 points in the second half. The pair also combined for 15 rebounds.

“We came out and did what we needed to do and executed as we planned it,” Bennett said.

Green struggled with foul trouble, as her night ended early in the fourth quarter, yet La Marque received a huge boost from its bench.

Daizhana Green added 14 points for the Lady Cougars, including a pair of baskets late in the third quarter that subdued the Lady Lions’ first bid to make a game of it.

La Marque led, 44-28, with 5:01 left before Yates closed to within 10 with less than three minutes left. The Lady Cougars then knocked down four of their last six free throws to secure the victory.

Andrea Moore led the Lady Lions with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Erin Jones had 10.

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