After only scoring two field goals in the third quarter, the Phoenix Mountain Pointe girls basketball team saw its fourth straight win slip right through its hands.
The Pride lost a seven-point lead in the third en route to opening the new year with a 40-37 loss Friday night to the visiting Gilbert Highland Hawks.
"We hit a little bit of a rut (in the third quarter) as far as offensively," Mountain Pointe head coach Justin Hager said. "We lost a little bit of momentum. Halftime was probably the worst thing for us."
The Pride (14-6) held a 23-18 lead at intermission, and senior forward Kayci Johnson opened the second half with a basket to make it 25-18.
But Highland (13-5) countered with a 14-0 run in the quarter and never looked back.
"We came out after halftime and really started playing a little bit and doing some things," Lady Hawks head coach Miner Webster said. "We hit some shots and got the lead. We played good defense and squeaked it out."
Senior Alexys Antell and sophomore Airiana Madanski led the offensive charge for Highland. The guard duo each knocked down a 3-pointer during the run and paced the team with 13 points apiece.
But it was guard Fama Thiam's hustle on both ends of the floor that sealed the victory for the Lady Hawks. The senior had six rebounds, six assists, five blocks and five steals.
"It's a huge win for us coming over here," Webster said. "Our Christmas break had been kind of sporadic with kids out of town and practices ... I knew this was going to be a struggle."
Senior tandem Isela Enriquez and Eve Kulovitz led the Lady Pride with 11 points apiece, including three 3-pointers by Enriquez.
Mountain Pointe will take on Desert Ridge on Tuesday at home, while Highland hosts Desert Vista on Tuesday night. Both games begin at 7 p.m.