BIG SPRING — Visiting Sweetwater out-scored Big Spring in only one of the four eight-minute quarters the teams played when they opened District 4-3A basketball play on Friday.
Still, the Lady Mustangs did just enough to outlast the Lady Steers, 35-33, in a game that was in doubt until the final seconds.
Sweetwater’s big quarter came in the second when it blanked Big Spring 12-0 to take a 20-11 halftime lead.
But the Lady Mustangs actually ran off 19 straight points — beginning late in the first quarter and ending early in the third stanza — to turn an 11-5 deficit into a 24-11 advantage.
After Big Spring finally regained its touch, Sweet-water still enjoyed a nine-point lead at the end of the third period and again (31-22) when Kelsi Crosson buried a 3-pointer with 6:18 left in the game.
Big Spring then rallied with an 11-1 run to regain the lead, 33-32, with 1:29 to play. But a basket and free throw by Kendra Crosson put Sweetwater’s back on top, 35-33, with 1:08 left.
Sweetwater twice had a chance to add to its lead at the free throw line after Big Spring picked up its seventh foul to put the Lady Mustangs in the bonus, but missed the front end both times, the last time with :06 left. Big Spring was able to get off a final shot, but it fell short as time expired.
“We got complacent in the third quarter and they eventually caught up,” said Sweetwater coach Al Miller, whose team (15-9) will host Greenwood Tuesday. “But we played defense when we had to. We’ve got to learn to manage the game when we have a 10-12 point lead.”
Kendra Crosson had 12 points to pace Sweetwater. Kelsi Crosson scored seven and Suede Shirley and Elise Lawrence five, while Shelby Cason had four points and Janell Walker two.