It took less than four minutes for Rowlett to open a double-digit lead on Mesquite on Tuesday.
The Skeeters spent the rest of the night trying to dig out of that hole.
Mesquite got close time and time again, but could never fully scale the mountain, as the Eagles made enough plays when they needed to claim a 54-49 victory at Rowlett High School.
Rowlett (2-6) will try to carry that momentum over into tournament action when they compete in the 2019 Allen Lady Eagle Hoopfest on Thursday through Saturday. The Skeeters (2-1) will also be busy on those same days competing in the Forney ISD Classic.
Mesquite had more than a dozen opportunities to take the lead in the late parts of the third and early stages of the fourth quarters, but Rowlett was able make a stand to force a turnover, or grab the rebound on a missed shot.
The Eagles themselves had gone cold at the same time until senior Reagan Warren came to the rescue.
Warren scored eight of her team-high 20 points during a crucial stretch midway through the fourth quarter.
Nursing a one-point lead, she knocked down both free throws in a one-and-one situation and following a Skeeter miss, she scored on a putback to push the lead back to 46-41 with 4:25 left.
Mesquite briefly answered when Kaiya Freelon made one from the charity stripe and Kayriona Brown converted the rebound on the second attempt to make it a two-point game.
But Warren was again clutch at the line on two free throws and she followed by knocking down a jumper from the baseline to extend the lead to 50-44.
Rowlett never fully put Mesquite away, as they traded layups—LaKeycia Bables for the Skeeters and Ryllie Booker for the Eagles.
Mesquite made one final push as Jalesa Davis sank a free throw and Kyahria Thomas scored inside to close to within 52-49 with 35.1 seconds left.
Outside of Warren, the Eagles were just 3-for-13 at the free throw line, but two of those came in the clutch, as Booker knocked down both attempts with 22.2 seconds left to restore the two-possession game and ultimately seal the victory.
Bables led all scorers for the Skeeters with 22 points, while Brown added nine. In addition to Warren’s 20, Madilyn Rodriguez had a big game for Rowlett with 17 points, including eight that kept them in the lead in the third quarter.
Mesquite had continued to chip away coming out of the locker room, as Brown scored inside, Kyla Childs hit a trey and Bables drove to the hoop for a layup to cut it to 33-32.
Rodriguez converted the next two Rowlett baskets, with the Skeeters countering on a layup by Brown and a three-point play by Bables that briefly tied it at 37-37.
Rodriguez, though, scored again inside and Mallorie Miller then hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 42-37 and they never trailed again.
It was all Eagles early on, as Warren and Taiyana Pitts got them off to a quick 11-4 lead.
Babels had six points in the opening frame, but the Skeeters did not get much else. Warren matched their point total by herself, scoring inside and then going outside to drain a trey to take a 20-10 lead after one.
The lead swelled to 12 when Rodriguez opened the second quarter with a layup and that is when Mesquite began their march back.
Bables stayed hot and the Skeeters pounded the glass, as Cha’Quayla Green scored on a putback and Brown converted two offensive rebounds, the latter of which closed the gap to 29-24 at halftime.