Mainly because of MWHS defensive pressure, Graham continued to have trouble in its offensive end.
Allen took a feed from Ragland and scored on a driving layup, and 20 seconds later senior guard Niya Benavides swished a three-point bucket from the left perimeter to extend the lead to 40-19 with 6:18 left in the third quarter.
Graham finally got on the board in the third quarter at the six-minute mark to end a scoring draught of almost five minutes.
“(Before the third-quarter run) we were getting good looks but not making shots,” Ed Shelstead said. “We were forcing dribble drives into help defense, and I just told them if it wasn’t there not to force it.
“I think Sydney (Shelstead) and Niya were pressing a little bit in the first half, but they both relaxed in the second half.”
The run happened without the scoring help of Sydney Shelstead, who after Graham’s first bucket of the third participated in a “sister act” by scoring on a layup after a pinpoint pass from Kennedy Shelstead to increase the lead to 42-21. Sydney Shelstead led the Lady Rams with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
The Lady Rams put the game away when Sydney Shelstead scored on a baseline drive and later on a layup after a steal, and junior guard Courtney Peña connected on a layup following a steal as MWHS led 48-21.
The Lady Rams closed the third-quarter scoring when Benavides – who finished with 22 points, including four treys – hit a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 54-23 cushion.
The fourth quarter saw a spark from a younger Lady Rams’ guard, sophomore Pam Hopkins. Hopkins went on a 7-0 run of her own when she hit a three from the left perimeter, nailed a baseline jumper and scored on a baseline drive to increase the lead to 65-27.