TYLER -- Bullard erased an early deficit and held a double-digit lead for almost the final 2 1/2 quarters in a 56-46 Class 3A Region II bi-district girls basketball playoff win against Bullard at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gymnasium.

Senior guard Bridgette Taylor and sophomore center Lexi Kirgan led the Lady Panthers, who improved to 25-7 on the season. Taylor scored a game-high 17 points to accompany a game-high nine rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Kirgan finished with 14 points, six boards, and a game-high three blocks.

Mineola's Sister Green puts up a shot during the Lady Jackets' first-round playoff loss to Bullard on Wednesday at Tyler Junior College. (Christopher R. VinnETSN.fm)

Madison Slayter's steal with 1:05 remaining led to Kirgan's putback 14 seconds later to seal the win. Mineola (16-15), which trailed by as many as 15 points, cut the gap to six points with 1:51 remaining on junior guard Sister Green's four-point play, 52-46.

Bullard held on despite missing 6 of 7 free-throw attempts in the final minute and a half.

Green led Mineola with 15 points and three rebounds, while junior forward Jordan Dawson added 12 points, seven rebounds, and two steals. Sophomore guard Kelsey Green had 11 points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Bullard's Brittany Hinton and Lexi Abercrombie scored nine points and eight points, respectively.

Bullard's Lexi Kirgan (25) maneuvers inside during the Lady Panthers' first-round playoff win vs. Mineola on Wednesday at Tyler Junior College. (Christopher R. VinnETSN.fm)

Bullard faces Pleasant Grove in a 3A Region II area playoff at 7 p.m. Friday in Hallsville.

A 45-32 lead carried Bullard to the fourth quarter, but Mineola fought back. Kelsey Green's back-to-back buckets cut Bullard's advantage to 45-36 early in the period, but Bullard answered with an Abercrombie three-pointer to push the gap to double-digits for the next four minutes. Trailing 52-42, Mineola got Sister Green's three-pointer and-1 for a four-point play that trimmed the Bullard lead to 52-46, but the Lady Panthers put the game away with defense in the final 90 seconds to claim the 56-46 victory.

Mineola led 7-3 early before Taylor scored seven points in a 13-3 run to close the first quarter. The spurt grew to 16-3 on Kirgan's second quarter-opening three-point play.

With 4:30 until halftime, Bullard first built its lead to double figures on a Kirgan-to-Hinton three-point play for a 25-14 advantage. Bullard used an 8-0 run to bridge the final two minutes of the first half with the first minute of the second half and build a 35-20 lead on Taylor Frederick's three-pointer off an Abercrombie assist. Mineola did not get closer than 11 points in the third period.

Mineola's Kelsey Green drives toward the bucket during the Lady Jackets' first-round playoff loss to Bullard on Wednesday at Tyler Junior College. (Christopher R. VinnETSN.fm)


Class 3A Region II

Bi-District Basketball

Bullard 56, Mineola 46

TJC's Wagstaff Gymnasium, Tyler

Bullard -- 16 16 13 11 -- 56
Mineola -- 10 10 12 14 -- 46

Bullard (25-7) -- Bridgette Taylor 17, Lexi Kirgan 13, Lexi Abercrombie 9, Brittany Hinton 9, Taylor Frederick 3, Madison Slayter 3, Deanna Howard 2.
Mineola (16-15) -- Sister Green 15, Jordan Dawson 12, Kelsey Green 11, Lauren Almuete 2, Sophia Heard 2, Raven Johnson 2, Madalyn Newell 2.