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Lady Mustangs use big second half to turn back Orangefield

WEST ORANGE – Crashing the boards hard all night and utilizing the smooth inside presence of post Marlandria Hebert, the West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs pulled away in the second half to down the Orangefield Lady Bobcats 49-43 in non-district action at Mustang Gym Tuesday night.

The Lady Mustangs (2-2) erased a 26-18 deficit at halftime by outscoring the Lady Bobcats (6-5) 31-17 in the second half, including 17-9 in the decisive fourth quarter.

Hebert dominated inside in the second half, whether it was smooth drives to the basket or yanking down critical rebounds.

Hebert finished with a huge double-double as she tallied 18 points and ripped down 16 rebounds. She scored 16 of her points in the second half, eight in both the third and fourth quarters.

The Lady Mustangs dominated the glass throughout the night and finished with a whopping 36-21 rebounding edge.

Aniah Henderson had 12 points for the Lady Mustangs, 10 of them coming in the second half and she buried some key free throws down the stretch. B’Jne Arvie had nine points and five boards for WO-S while Keshaunia Winbush had six rebounds and played excellent defense.

Jacey Bourque paced the Lady Bobcats with 12 points, 11 of them coming in the first half.

Faith Fregia tallied 11 points. Harleigh Rawls contributed nine points and four rebounds. Joli Ponfick had seven points while Madison Greenway yanked down a team-high seven rebounds.

The Lady Bobcats raced out to a 10-4 lead at the end of the first quarter as Bourque filtered in five points and Greenway snagged five boards.

Orangefield stretched it to 26-18 by the half as Bourque and Fregia combined for 11 points in the second quarter. Arvie kept the Lady Mustangs in the chase with seven points in the quarter.

The Lady Mustangs then came out and controlled the second half, limiting Orangefield to just four field goals.

WO-S tied it at 28-28 after a Henderson drive but Rawls scored four quick points at the end of the third to give the Lady Bobcats a 35-32 edge.

The Lady Mustangs responded by closing the game with a nice run. Henderson converted a layup off a steal to give WO-S its first lead at 37-35 with 6:58 remaining.

After that, Hebert took over, scoring eight of the Lady Mustangs’ final 12 points with strong moves going to the hoop that the smaller Lady Bobcats couldn’t contain.

The Lady Mustangs finished with 21 turnovers while Orangefield had 18.

WO-S was 12-of-17 from the free-throw line while the Lady Bobcats were 16-of-24.

The Lady Mustangs will compete in the Evadale Tournament Thursday through Saturday while the Lady Bobcats return home Friday to host Hamshire-Fannett.