The Lady Wildcats had trailed 30-16 at the break and the Lady Hornets scored the first bucket of the second half to go up 32-16, its widest margin of the game.
Woodland went on a 13-8 run the rest of the period to pull to 40-29 after three quarters of play, an 11-point difference.
The Lady Wildcats opened the final quarter with an 11-6 run to pull to 46-40 after Ayrianna Metcalf buried two free throws and Katie Harris went 1-of-2 with 4:15 left in the game. Hiram responded with a free throw for a 47-40 lead but Sydney Boyd answered with a 2-pointer to close to 47-42. Hiram stretched its lead again with a bucket but Marissa Dubose answered in the same fashion to light up the scoreboard at 49-44 with 1:35 left.
Dubose sank a free throw with 31 seconds left to bring Woodland to 49-45, the closest it would get. Hiram hit two foul shots for a 51-45 lead and Harris added two free shots as well to cap Woodland’s scoring on the evening. Hiram added a shot from the charity stripe, to account for the game’s final score.
Hiram had scored the first two buckets of the game, taking up almost three minutes for the second score. Aubri Branch found net with a 2-pointer at the 4:33 mark, then added a free throw to complete an old-fashioned 3-pointer as the scoreboard read 4-3. Hiram dropped in a bucket and Katie Cheek responded in kind to close to 6-5. Hiram closed the period with a 10-4 run with Branch adding a bucket and Dubose sinking two free throws, while the Lady Hornets widened their lead to 16-9.
Hiram used a 14-7 run to claim its 30-16 lead after two quarters of play. Boyd scored her team’s only field goal of the second quarter while Dubose sank three free throws while Cheek and Carly Bucy added one point each.
Woodland head coach Kyle Morgan praised his team battling back in the second half but said it needed better offensive play earlier to help its cause.
“We struggled scoring in the first half,” he said. “We turned the ball over 13 times to their four. That was the hole we dug for ourselves, but we found a way to get back in it.
“It was good to see they didn’t lay down, and they had a lot of fight in them. I guess the lesson from this is you have to play four quarters to beat a team as good as Hiram.”
Branch and Dubose scored 9 points each for Woodland. Among other scorers were Cheek, 3; Boyd, 6; Bucy, 2; Harris, 6; Metcalf, 6; and Gabrielle Bradley, 4.
Woodland grabbled 18 more rebounds than Hiram to help it close the gap late in the game. The Lady Wildcats were 20-of-36 from the free throw line.
They were 4-of-13 from the field in the first half and 9 of 19 after the break.
Woodland dropped to 4-2 overall, 2-1 in Region 5A-AAAAA.
Woodland hosts East Paulding today. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
Hiram improved to 4-2, 2-0 in its region.
Hiram returns to the hardwood Tuesday when it plays East Paulding. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.