The Lady Eagles defeated Mount Zion, Carrollton, 45-42, behind a 24-point game by Andrea Taylor.
“I told the girls before the game to try to get a good start and we did,” head coach Eric Harris said, noting both teams had played late games on Friday. “We scored 15 in the first quarter and then 12 in the second quarter and that gave us a 27-17 lead at halftime.”
Excel stretched that lead a little in the third with an 11-9 run and was up 38-26 after a full three quarters of play.
That turned out to be very important for Excel as the Lady Eagles lost Bekah Bell in the third quarter to a leg injury and had to play without her services the rest of the way.
Mount Zion tried to take advantage of the personnel loss, using a 16-7 run in the final quarter to almost catch Excel but the Lady Eagles overcame adversity and withstood the challenge.
Harris said the team’s defensive play was big down the stretch.
“One of their girls averages 24 points a game,” he said, “and we were able to hold her to 17 points.”
The Lady Eagles also brought some offense with them as Taylor turned into something resembling a scoring machine on the evening.
“Andrea played great for us,” he added.
Also contributing offensively were freshmen Lexie Robinson, 9; and Brighton McCollum, 6.
“Four of those six points by Brighton came through free throws she made in the last quarter,” Harris said. “She hit some big free throws down the stretch when they were fouling her.”
Harris said winning two region games in a row is big for Excel.
“We’re getting better every game,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll peak at the right time.”
Excel improved to 3-11 overall and now is 2-3 in Region 6-A. It next plays Tuesday when they visit Temple in a non-region game. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.