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Loyd Star girls win over West Marion, boys lose fight to the death

Loyd Star split with West Marion on the Lincoln County Invitational Basketball Tournament’s opening night, with the Lady Hornets picking up the victory and the boys falling just short.

The Lady Hornets hit a four-point run to start off their game before the Lady Trojans of West Marion were able to find the net. The Lady Hornets responded by adding four more points to lead 8-1 with less than five minutes left in the first period.

The Lady Trojans attempted to cut into the Lady Hornets’ lead, finding themselves down 10-3 at the end of the first, but the Loyd Star girls kept up their attack and led 17-6 at half time.

Despite being down 21-8 in the third period, the Lady Trojans started slowly chipping away at the Lady Hornets’ lead, but they were unable to overcome the Loyd Star offense, which kept collecting baskets to take a 28-14 lead into the final period of play.

The Lady Hornets continued adding onto their lead in the final period, but miscues and foul trouble allowed the West Marion girls to climb back into the game. With just over a minute left, the Lady Hornets saw their large lead dwindle down to just eight points, 39-31, but the Lady Trojans’ attack jumped off too late to matter. Both teams fought through the final seconds of the game, with the Lady Hornets coming out on top 41-33.

Marley Poole led the Lady Hornets with 15 points.

The Loyd Star boys also fought in their game’s final seconds, but the ball didn’t bounce their way.

West Marion was the first on the board, making one out of two shots on the free throw line after Loyd Star started the contest with a foul. West Marion sank a three-pointer to go up 4-0, and the Hornets finally found the net at the 5:42 mark and fought its way into the game to lead 5-4. The lead didn’t last long, as West Marion stepped up its game. The first quarter ended with the game tied at 17-all.

Both defenses showed up in the start of the second period, as no score was made until three minutes had passed. West Marion was able to untie the game and take the lead on the foul line. Loyd Star retied the game at 19 with more than four minutes left before half, but it was West Marion who carried the 24-23 lead into the locker room.

The third period saw many ties and lead changes, with the Trojans taking a 43-40 lead into the fourth period. Loyd Star started the fourth period by cutting into West Marion’s lead and eventually tied the game again. West Marion hit the boards hard to get extra possessions and outscored the Hornets late, sitting on a 54-45 lead with one minute remaining in the game.

The Hornets fought back with a vengeance but the ultimately lost the race against the clock and West Marion survived 56-52.

Dane Smith had 14 points for Loyd Star.

Story by Dave Linton