The Klein Oak Lady Panthers woke up from a slow first half and defeated the Clear Creek Lady Wildcats in a 49-35 win at the Peggy Whitley Classic at Clear Creek High School’s Butler Gym on Friday morning.

Elizabeth Scott scored 14 points to lead the Lady Panthers while Brooke Cephus and Lane Rice each put up 9 points. Ashlyn Jones finished with 8 points.

“It was a good team effort,” said Klein Oak head coach Adrianna Bendick. “Clear Creek is a very good team. Coach (Kristi) Odom does a very good job of getting her players ready. She has some shooters who got some open shots on us and nailed a bunch of 3-pointers. They’re a good team but we rebounded really well today. It was a good win for us.”

Deazhia Smith scored 11 points to lead the Lady Wildcats while Ana Rodriguez scored three 3-pointers in the first half, finishing with 9 points. Savonnah Lewis scored 7 while Aiken Semones and Lauren Sinclair each had 3 points.

“We didn’t box out very well and we didn’t rebound well,” said Clear Creek head coach Kristi Odom. “We just got beat on second chance points.”

In a low-scoring first quarter, the Lady Wildcats found themselves ahead 12-9 at the end of the frame.

“It was pretty defensive,” said Odom of the first quarter. “Both teams were playing better defenses in the second half, we just got tired. Conditioning and being ready to play at a high level, they’re a good team. They’ve played pretty well this year.”

An early inside basket by the Lady Panthers kept the Lady Wildcats at bay in the early minutes of the second quarter.

A put-back by Scott came on a foul and the junior brought the Lady Panthers to within one point.

Kayla Wrobbel’s put-back made it another one point game and Rice’s floater put Klein Oak at a 17-16 advantage with 2:20 left in the first half.

“We were hustling better and our efforts were better,” Odom said. “We’re just really young and we’re working through that right now.”

But Rodriguez’s third 3-pointer of the game put the Lady Wildcats right back in front just seconds later.

The game was tied at 19 at the halftime buzzer.

Scott scored on a rebound to help the Lady Panthers to a 3-0 run to start the second half.

Lewis used a 3-pointer to bring the Lady Wildcats even.

But the Lady Panthers kept finding a way to get ahead, going on a 6-0 surge with 1:45 in the third.

“We told them at halftime to continue attacking the basket,” Bendick said. “We were missing easy shots. But we were able to rebound and get the fouls and finish with the baskets.”

Rice hit a 3-pointer with 1:20 in the third and the Lady Panthers had a 31-24 advantage.

Another outside basket by Klein Oak followed and it was 34-24 at the end of the third quarter.

Sinclair’s put-back brought the Lady Wildcats to a single digit deficit with 5:26 left in the game.

But Jones found the trey on a rebound to keep the Lady Panthers at a 10-point lead.

Cephus’ shot off the backboard made it 44-30, Klein Oak, before the Lady Wildcats took a timeout.

The Lady Panthers held on for the win.

“We have to take better care of the ball,” Odom said. “We had too many turnovers and bad passes. We have to do better at rebounding.”

Clear Creek will play today at 10:30 a.m. at Carlisle Gym.

In other area games, the Clear Springs Lady Chargers defeated the Ball High Lady Tors in a 44-31 win on Friday.

The Lady Chargers finished tournament play at 2-1.

The Clear Falls Lady Knights fell to Goose Creek Memorial 49-27 on Friday as well.

The Hitchcock Lady Bulldogs fell to the North Shore Lady Mustangs, 44-41 which eliminated them from the tournament.

Michael Bauer: 409-683-5247;michael.bauer@galvnews.com

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