DENVER â€” The East Lincoln Lady Mustangs came within two points of the Highland Tech Lady Rams seven times, tied the game three times and took a short lived lead in the fourth quarter, but eventually fell 56-50 in a Southern Piedmont Conference clash on Tuesday.
Halfway through the first quarter East Lincoln senior Akeyla Forney put the Lady Mustangs (5-17, 2-11 SPC) on the board with a free throw, ending Highland Techâ€™s 5-1 run. The Lady Rams added three more points in the following two minutes, but two layups from Jennifer Allison and Sydney Messmer, followed by a 10-foot jumper by Forney left Highland Tech with a two-point lead, 9-7, at the end of the first period of play.
The Lady Rams (8-11, 6-7 SPC) pulled ahead to a 17-11 lead in the first three minutes of the second quarter. Forney brought the Lady Mustangs within four on free throws, and a follow-up layup by Allison gave Highland Tech another two-point cushion. The Lady Rams pulled ahead to 19-7 but Allison hit a short jumper with two minutes left in the first half to tie the game at 19-19. The Lady Rams responded with a 2-point play of their own, but Forney knotted the game at 21-21 with a layup. Highland Tech scored four unanswered points to go ahead 25-21 at halftime.
Highland Tech led by as many as nine points just three minutes into the third quarter. The Lady Mustangs again closed the gap as the third period expired with four points from Ashley Frazier and Mackenzie Mackel to put East Lincoln down 37-33 headed into the fourth quarter.
East Lincoln took its first lead of the game with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Allison was fouled on her way up to the basket for a layup and hit both free throws to tie the game at 41-41. Forney put the Lady Mustangs ahead on the next play after a steal and a run-out layup. The Lady Rams went on a 5-0 run that was snapped by a jumper by Forney, but was followed by another 5-0 run that put Highland Tech ahead 52-45 with under a minute left in the game.
The loss, East Lincolnâ€™s fifth straight, places them in seventh place in the Southern Piedmont Conference standings headed into Fridayâ€™s final game of the regular season against North Lincoln.