The Mark Twain girls' basketball team stayed close with Marion County during the first half, but scored just three points in the entire second half as the Lady Tigers lost 45-20 Friday night in Philadelphia.
"I was really proud of how the girls played in the first half," Mark Twain coach Alex Brandenburg said. "We played some of our best basketball then and I think it really showed what we are capable of doing."
Marion County jumped out to a 12-1 lead, but Mark Twain battled back. The Lady Tigers closed out the first quarter on a 7-0 run to close the deficit to 12-8. In the second quarter, Mark Twain got within one point twice, at 16-15 with 2:04 left and again at 18-17 with 1:30 in the half, but they would not get any closer.
"We were moving the ball good and stopping them on defense," Mark Twain junior Mackenzie Grossmann said. "Our defense was really good, but there at the end we weren't getting the ball to the post as much, but in the first half we did good with that."
Marion County opened the second half with a 10-0 run before Mark Twain scored on a bucket from Alicia Cole. The Lady Mustangs would follow that up with 14-0 run that spanned the end of the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter before Kayla Palmer hit a free throw for Mark Twain's final points of the night.
"Buckets were tough to come by," Brandburg said. "Sometimes you just feel like nothing is going your way. I think part of that is we got out of doing what we do. … It was rough, but the girls kept fighting and never gave up. I am proud of them for that."
Grossmann led the Lady Tigers with 9 points, all of which came during the first half of play. Grossmann also recorded a game-high 11 rebounds for the Lady Tigers.
"I probably could have had a few more points," Grossman said. "There were some easy baskets that I missed, but I was really happy with my rebounds. I really should have made some more points for my team."
Cole finished the night with 7 points for Mark Twain (1-2) while Maygan Huff and Palmer each finished with two points.
Marion County (3-0) senior Kaelyn Spratt finished the night with a game-high 21 points and outscored Mark Twain by herself. Also turning in a double digit scoring for the Lady Mustangs was Devan Johnson who finished with 14 points. Spratt and Johnson both pulled down 8 rebounds apiece for Marion County.