As far as basketball games go, this one had enough bricks for the third little pig to build a vacation home. But Mark Wright's not complaining.
The first-year Midland Valley coach watched as his Mustangs took a second-quarter lead and rode it to a 44-33 win over Lakeside on Tuesday night. In the girls game, Lakeside defeated Midland Valley 71-37.
"I'll take an ugly win," said Wright, who coached Midland Valley's boys junior varsity team last season.
Corey Wade capped a 9-0 Midland Valley run early in the second quarter as the Mustangs broke out to an 18-8 lead. Midland Valley went into halftime with a 23-12 lead.
The masonry continued in the second half as Midland Valley failed to pull away and Lakeside struggled to get closer. Dion Simpkins hit a driving lay-in to put the Mustangs up 31-19 with 46.3 seconds left in the third period.
Lakeside (1-1), though, tried to make a comeback. Tyricus McCladdie and Matt Josephson combined for seven points during a 7-0 run that pulled the Panthers to within 31-26 early in the fourth period.
However, Terrence Leverett scored six points in a four-minute stretch as Midland Valley took control late in the game.
"It could have been better," Wright said. "We had a couple of mental lapses on offense. Pretty much our defense basically won the game."
The free-throw line wasn't a bad sixth man for Midland Valley, either. Lakeside shot just 9-of-22 from the stripe.
"This was just one of those nights," Lakeside coach Norm Cox said. "We'd steal the ball and then dribble it off our foot."
In girls' action, the Lady Panthers (2-0) took control early as they cruised to a 26-3 first-quarter lead. Alexis Holman led Lakeside with 21 points, while Allison Beard added 14. Marquita Hall and Tabetha McGee led Midland Valley (0-1) with 14 points apiece.
"We're kind of performing where I thought we'd be," Lakeside coach Bill Richey said. "But we still have a lot of things we need to work on."
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.