AREA GIRLS HOOPS: Veribest Claims First District Title in 17 Years
VERIBEST, TX -- The Veribest Lady Falcons claimed their first district title in 17 years with a 51-48 win over no. 25-ranked Blackwell on Tuesday.
Both teams started strong, driving to the basket and playing aggressive defense to keep the score close. But the Lady Hornets took a 12-9 lead after the first quarter.
The Lady Hornets began putting pressure on the Lady Falcons in a press defense, forcing Veribest into some turnover trouble.
Senior Catlyn Ward started off the second quarter with a three-pointer, which sparked the Lady Falcons to outscore Blackwell 15-11 in the quarter to enter halftime with a one-point lead.
Ward once again started off the quarter with a three-pointer, which led to seven points in the quarter where Veribest posted 13. However, Blackwell kept it close and gave themselves a fighting shot in the fourth at 37-34.
The Lady Hornets found themselves back in front after forcing more turnovers. Veribest kept fighting and, thanks to five points from Zoe Bratcher and a three from Kennadi Wheeless, Veribest was able to reclaim the lead and the district title.
Ward led the way for Veribest with 17 points in the win. Bratcher had 12 points and Wheeless had 11.
Veribest (21-6, 10-2), as district champions, gets a first round bye in the playoffs. They'll face either Fort Davis or Balmorhea in the area round.
Christoval Edges Rival Eldorado to Close Regular Season
The Christoval Lady Cougars held off a late comeback attempt from the Eldorado Lady Eagles for a 40-33 win on Tuesday.
Eldorado took the reins of the game in the first quarter, securing a 7-4 lead behind five points from Vic Dehanis.
The Lady Cougars responded by holding the Lady Eagles to four points in the second while erupting for 18 of their own. Kallie Montalvo highlighted the quarter with a pair of three-pointers.
Christoval would extend their lead to 17 points in the third quarter behind six points from Graci Jones and five from Allison Vaughn.
Payton Whitten then started a scoring streak for Eldorado. Whitten would tally nine of Eldorado's 15 fourth quarter points in an effort to make a comeback, but it wasn't enough.
Christoval (22-10, 10-0) will face the fourth place team from District 8-2A in the bi-district round of playoffs.
Eldorado (18-9, 6-4) falls into third place and will face the second place team from 8-2A in the first round.
Mangus Highlights No. 2 Mason's 25th Straight Win
The no. 2-ranked Mason Cowgirls dominated the Center Point Lady Pirates for a 77-16 win behind a stellar performance from senior post Ruby Mangus.
The Cowgirls took control of the game early to take a 25-2 lead into the second quarter behind eight points from Mangus and three three-pointers.
Mangus got in on the fun from downtown with a three and nine points in the second quarter to help Mason to a 48-7 margin at the half.
Allie Guice picked up the slack in the third quarter with five points and the final of Mason's six three-pointers to lift the Cowgirls to a 63-12 margin.
The Cowgirls finished the game with a 14-4 run in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Mason (32-1, 8-0) will represent District 27-2A as their champion. They'll play the fourth seed from 28-2A.
Lady Cats' Hot Start Cooled by Hurst Bell
The Central Lady Cats fell short of taking the district championship in a 41-33 loss to no. 25 Hurst Bell Lady Raiders on Tuesday.
Central started out the gates on fire by going on an 11-0 run in the first quarter. Kayla Davis and the Lady Raiders started getting things going, as she scored all five points for Bell. Central led the game at the end of the first 11-5.
The Lady Raiders carried their momentum from the first quarter into the second by capping the end of their 10-6 run. By the half Parris Parmer had six points and helped her team lead by the first half.
Coming out of the half, the Lady Raiders were on fire, especially Davis. She had three three-pointers in the quarter. They went on a 16-4 run before a coach's timeout made the Lady Cats to regain composure. They went on a 4-0 run to end the quarter and to only trail by one point.
The start of the fourth quarter was tough for Central. Bell couldn't miss a shot and went on an 8-0 run. Central called a timeout with Bell leading 34-25.
Central then went on an 8-0 run to bring the game within one point. Late buckets were traded between Parmer and Davis. But in the end, the Lady Raiders were able to make free throws down the stretch to seal the game.
Davis had 21 points for Bell.
Parmer had Central's team-high with 17 points.
The Lady Cats (26-9, 9-3) will fall to third place in District 3-6A. They'll face Arlington Bowie in the bi-district round of playoffs.
Robert Lee Finishes Regular Season in Comfortable Fashion
The Robert Lee Lady Steers concluded their regular season with a comfortable 56-27 win over Irion County on Tuesday.
Robert Lee jumped out early and often on Irion County, taking a 19-0 lead into the second quarter behind six points from Kelby Clawson and five from Megan Grantham.
That dominant run continued in the second, as Clawson and Grantham combined for eight points to lift the Lady Steers to a 32-4 lead at the half.
The Lady Steers, as a whole, eased off the gas. But freshman Braylee Hood found her rhythm to score eight of Robert Lee's 10 points in the quarter. Baylee Lawdermilk and Mercedes Davis combined for Irion County's eight points in the quarter.
Davis then got her rhythm, scoring eight of the Lady Hornets' 15 points in the fourth quarter. A balanced scoring regimen helped Robert Lee to 14 points in the final frame.
Robert Lee (22-5, 9-3) will move into the second seed by virtue of Blackwell's loss. They'll play Menard on Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in Panther Creek.
Ballinger's Range Leads Lady Bearcats past Reagan County
The Ballinger Lady Bearcats showcased their range from behind the arc in a 49-26 win over the Reagan County Lady Owls on Tuesday.
The Lady Bearcats hit eight three-pointers in the win.
Ballinger started out hot, outscoring Reagan County 15-4 in the first quarter.
From there, Reagan County couldn't find much traction till late. The Lady Owls were outscored 19-11 over the next two quarters.
Reagan County managed a relatively explosive fourth quarter, scoring 11 points. But 15 points from Ballinger in the final frame helped seal the win.
Ballinger (20-13, 10-2) will represent District 4-3A as the second seed in the playoffs. They'll face the third place team from District 3-3A.
Reagan County falls to 5-7 and could fall into a tie for fourth place with Brady.
No. 4 Garden City Edges No. 9 Rankin in Playoff Tune-up
The no. 4-ranked Garden City Lady Bearkats held off a late charge from no. 9 Rankin in a playoff tune-up game which Garden City won 54-51.
Garden City trailed 14-11 after the first quarter where Rankin hit a pair of three-pointers.
Then Garden City put their patented defense to work, clamping Rankin to eight points in the second quarter. Five points from Jordan Driver and four from Allison Halfmann helped Garden City storm back for a 24-22 halftime lead.
The Lady Bearkats would extend their lead to 41-33 at the end of the third behind eight points from Lyndee Walker.
Garden City would stay hot in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points behind Driver's seven. However, Rankin made a late push with 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Garden City (28-3, 8-0) will represent District 8-1A as their champion. They'll get a first round bye in the playoffs.
Scores from the area:
- Miles 51, Ozona 32
- Harper 48, Junction 25
This story will be updated.