The Choctaw Central Lady Warriors took the lead in the third quarter and never relinquished it as they defeated the Lafayette Lady Commodores 43-42 Saturday in the Pontotoc “Tangle on the Trail” classic.

With the victory, Choctaw Central improved to 13-1 while Lafayette now stands at 14-2.

It was a battle of top ranked teams. Max Preps has Choctaw Central ranked No. 2 in the state while Lafayette is ranked No. 10 overall. Pearl, a team Choctaw Central has beaten, is ranked No. 1 according to Max Preps.

Lafayette controlled the first half. Leading 13-10 after the first quarter, the Lady Commodores outscored the Lady Warriors 10-7 in the second quarter and led 23-17 at the half.

The Lady Warriors took over during the third quarter as they scored 18 points while holding Lafayette to four points. Choctaw Central carried a 35-29 lead into the fourth quarter. They built up a 10-point lead with two-and-a-half minutes left. The Lady Commodores fought back, cutting the Lady Warriors’ lead to one point. Lafayette got the last shot and it bounced off the rim at the buzzer. Choctaw Central had prevailed.

“We got in foul trouble early and they got ahead,” Coach Bill Smith said. “But our girls wouldn’t quit and we took the lead. We held on and it was a good win for us.”

Meloney Thames led with 15 points while Kaedre’ Denson added 10 points and Tia Saunders scored eight.

Both Choctaw Central teams were to have played at Morton last week but that game was postponed due to the weather. It is a Region 5-3A game and will be made up later this season.

Choctaw Central was to host Winona on Monday in a region game, Philadelphia on Tuesday and then travel to Leake Central Thursday night.