Brownwood suffers first loss as 13-game win streak ends, 49-44, in weekend finale

LORENA — After 13 consecutive victories to open the 2017-18 basketball campaign, the Class 4A No. 5 Brownwood Lady Lions experienced defeat for the first time Saturday, falling to Class 5A Bryan Rudder, 49-44, in the championship game of the Lorena tournament.

“I thought we got a lot better this weekend,” said Lady Lions head coach Heather Hohertz. “We beat some quality teams and showed just how good this team can be. We still have to get better at rebounding, and we have to learn from this loss and keep it going.”

The Lady Lions (13-1) led 13-9 after one quarter and 23-18 at halftime, but a cold-shooting third period allowed Rudder to move in front 33-29 heading into the fourth quarter.

Brownwood converted just 31 percent (16 of 46) of its field goals, but 34 percent (9 of 26) of its three-pointers, and made only 42 percent (3 of 7) of its free throw attempts.

The Lady Lions also committed 16 turnovers, while collecting seven steals and 20 rebounds.

Sage Cupps finished up a stellar weekend with a 23-point effort followed by 13 from Mallory Garcia, four from Taytum Sutton, three from Ryleigh Dalleh and one point from Kenya Barnes.

The Lady Lions, who won four of five games over the weekend, survived a nail-biter Friday night, edging Class 5A Marble Falls, 45-44, to reach the championship game.

Brownwood led 12-4 after one quarter but Marble Falls closed the gap to 16-14 by halftime and carried a 31-29 advantage into the fourth period.

The Lady Lions shot 35 percent (15 of 43) from the floor, including 38 percent (7 of 18) from beyond the three-point arc, while knocking down 61 percent (8 of 13) of their free throws. Brownwood tallied just 15 rebounds and turned the ball over 11 times, but recorded 11 steals.

Cupps tallied 14 points followed by Sutton with 13, Garcia with nine, Barnes with six and Dalleh with three points.

In Friday’s first game, the Lady Lions stymied Palestine in a 44-24 victory.

Brownwood shot 33 percent (14 of 42), but hit 41 percent (7 of 17) of its treys and 60 percent (9 of 15) of its free throws.

Cupps poured in 16 points followed by Garcia with 12, Dalleh with six, Barnes with four, Mya Wallace with three and Daisy Green with two points.

The Lady Lions also pulled down 19 rebounds and tallied 11 steals, while giving the ball away 14 times.

Brownwood, which also defeated San Elizario and Robinson in tournament action, will travel to Marble Falls for a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday rematch then venture to Godley for a 6:15 p.m. tilt Friday.