Two games into the season, and the Claremore Lady Zebras’ offense revolves around attacking opponents from the perimeter.
Claremore’s inability to score in the paint to counter Monica Taylor’s five treys led to Grove’s 50-47 win over the Lady Zebras Friday night in Metro Lakes Conference action.
Taylor, who had six treys for 18 points in the season opening win over Collinsville, responded with five more against Grove. The sophomore guard has yet to hit a basket inside the three-point line.
Claremore’s offense converted eight treys in the game, and only managed a 3-for-4 performance at the free throw line.
After clinging to an 11-9 first quarter lead, Claremore led 19-15 with 5:02 left in the second quarter on Taylor’s third trey of the game.
Emily Iverson’s three-pointer with 2:16 remaining in the first half gave Grove a 20-19 lead. Grove, from that point on, would not relinquish its lead over Claremore.
Taylor, who had four treys in the first half, kept Claremore in the game at 23-22 with 45 seconds left until halftime.
Grove, meanwhile, closed the first half and then opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run to increased its lead to 34-27 with 1:28 left.
Iverson paced Grove’s offensive attack with a game-high 21 points.
Lauren Chancellor’s basket in the paint on the pin-point passing of Claremore senior point guard Kaleigh Cox cut Grove’s lead to 34-29.
Then, in the fourth quarter, Iverson’s three-pointer pushed Grove to a 40-31 lead. Claremore, however, countered with Anna McGuire knocking down a baseline jumper at the 5:14 mark to make it 40-33.
Iverson’s ability to get to the free throw line paid off with two conversions that gave Grove its largest lead of the game at 44-33 with 4:22 left in the game.
Skylar Muncy, though, keyed Claremore’s late rally with a three-pointer followed by Chancellor’s trey that cut Grove’s lead to 44-39 with 2:43 remaining.
Cox’s driving layup, followed by Taylor’s fifth trey, got the Lady Zebras within two points at 49-47 with 11 seconds left.
Along with Taylor, McGuire, Chancellor and Cox tallied nine points each for the Lady Zebras.