Lady Pioneers improve mark to 4-0

The North Central Texas Academy Lady Pioneers remained unbeaten Tuesday, but had to rally in the second half for a 53-51 win at DeSoto Canterbury in a battle of state-ranked teams.

The Lady Pioneers, who improved to 4-0, are ranked 12th among small private schools by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. Canterbury is 23rd.

Cynthia Rivas led North Central Texas, posting a double-double with 12 points and 22 rebounds. Shelby Lyle scored 20 points and Sara Etherington added 19.

Canterbury raced out to a 25-22 lead after the first quarter. Then, both teams slowed down the game’s pace, but Canterbury still stretched its lead to 35-29 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Lady Pioneers’ defense clamped down, outscoring Canterbury 8-2 to tie the game at 37.

“It was a close game from the start. They have a very athletic group of girls,” said first-year NCTA coach Emily Britt.

“You could tell we had been on break. We still have a little turkey to run off.”

Girls basketball

NCTA 22 7 8 16 – 53

Canterbury 25 10 2 14 – 51

NCTA (4-0) scoring – Shelby Lyle 20, Sara Etherington 19, Cynthia Rivas 12, Jenni Chen 2.

3-pointers – Lyle 2, Etherington 1.

Rebounds – Rivas 22, Etherington 7.