The Graves County Lady Eagles took care of business in their season opener on Tuesday night, defeating the Massac County Lady Patriots 59-49.
The Lady Eagles controlled the tempo in the first half, using their size and solid passing to take a 20-9 lead into the second quarter.
With a sizable deficit growing each possession, Massac County continued to forfeit costly turnovers that led to easy baskets for Graves County.
At the halftime break, the Lady Eagles led 37-23 and looked to be on their way to an easy 1-0 start.
In the second half, foul trouble began to mount for the Lady Eagles which led to an unexpected comeback by the Lady Patriots.
Massac County managed to take advantage of Graves County's reserves' extra minutes, forcing turnover after turnover as the Lady Eagles' lead began to dwindle under 10 points.
With its lead down to three, first-year Graves County head coach Brandon Fisher went back to his starters in hopes of maintaining an edge over the Lady Patriots.
Raychel Mathis and Callie Jackson reentered the game with just under five minutes to play and took over the contest.
Important turnovers and stops on defense helped send the Lady Eagles to the free throw line late in the fourth, leading to their 59-49 victory over Massac County.
Following his first win as Lady Eagle head coach, Fisher acknowledged his team's struggles but was ultimately satisfied with his team's perseverance.
"We kind of panicked at times and turned the ball over a lot," Fisher said. "Our skill level has to be better with the ball in our hands but I'm very proud of our team for continuing to fight and hitting free throws down the stretch."
The Lady Eagles will take on the Massac County Lady Patriots once again on Thursday at the Marshall County Hoopfest. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.
Massac Co. 9 14 17 9 49
Graves Co. 20 17 11 11 59
Massac: Castleman 21, McCraw 5, McBride 3, Coakley 2, Boreman 1, Lewis 13, Waldon 4.
Field goals: 14-41. 3-pointers: 4-6 (Castleman 4). Free throws: 17-23. Reb: 29 Fouls: 22. Ast: 8.
Graves: Mathis 18, Jackson 16, Myatt 14, Wilson 3, Harris 3, Dawson 1, Jackson 4.
Field goals: 20-43. 3-pointers: 2-9 (Mathis 2). Free throws: 0-0. Reb: 32 Fouls: 23. Ast: 12.