The Lady Wildcats nearly gave up game-long lead in the end, but AHS junior Derrian Nolan took matters into her own hands, scoring the final four points to retake the lead and secure the win.
"I'll tell you one thing," said Abbeville head coach Dean Dronet. "Derrian Nolan, when we needed to go to her, she exemplified the refuse-to-lose attitude of this team."
Abbeville held a slim 11-8 lead after one quarter and built it up to nine points at 26-17 at the half. But Marksville was not going to lay down on its home court and came back to take a 51-47 lead with just 2:00 remaining in the game. Marksville used a combination of presses and defenses to throw the Lady Wildcats off their game.
"Those girls just kept coming," said Dronet. "They were super quick. They were probably the quickest team we played this year. They got after us."
AHS got the usual solid performance from its starters, but the Abbeville bench had to step up. The Lady Wildcats' Bianca Levy, a dominant presence in the post, found herself in foul trouble early. Dronet went to freshman Barbara Bryant to fill the gap.
"She really stepped up off the bench," Dronet said of Bryant. "She really did a good job and gave us a good little spark.
"She pleasantly surprised me. She did a really good job."
Dronet said he has grown to expect the type of performance from his team that he saw on the floor Thursday night.
"We never gave up," said Dronet. "I told them before the game that we would have to fight through adversity, that there would be a point where we would face adversity. I said, 'You can't ever give up and you can't hang your heads. You've got to leave it all on the floor.' I believe they did that."
Nolan led the AHS scoring with 19 points. Elaina Baytop scored 17 points. Jakevia Moore got seven points, Bryant had six points and Dyantae Perkins and Levy had two points each.
Abbeville will next have a home game against Loyola on Monday night (game time TBD), but Dronet said that, for now, he is going to enjoy this victory.
"I'm really proud of our girls," said Dronet. "It was one of those nip-and-tuck games. But, we were lucky enough to come out on the winning end."