Bullard Girls Survive Late Test From Chapel Hill
BULLARD -- Chapel Hill had to be kicking itself on the bus ride home.
Bullard is a team Class 4A girls programs in East Texas and even outside the region ought to be concerned about, but Lady Bulldogs came within striking distance of pulling an upset Friday.
Already the District 16-4A champion, the No. 9 Lady Panthers had to hang on late for a 43-38 win in their final regular season home game.
"I'm just excited that we won on senior night," Bullard head coach Barry Gill said. "Chapel Hill gave us everything they had. They played great and gave us everything they had until the end. We showed a little resolve down the stretch with a couple of clutch free throws."
After a rough start, Chapel Hill outscored the Lady Panthers in the second half 26-17.
Things got especially dicey for Bullard (29-5, 9-0) when the Lady Bulldogs (11-18, 3-6) turned what had been a 17-point deficit at its largest into a 41-36 game with 1:49 to play.
The Lady Panthers survived a steal, a five-second guarding penalty on the floor, a jump ball call against the arrow, four shots from the field and two free throws without giving up a single point before Kristen Chamberlain iced the game with two free throws inside 20 seconds to play.
Chapel Hill -- still in great position for the district's fourth playoff seed -- finally broke through with a basket from Kyia Moore on a frantic run up the court with less than 10 seconds to play for the game's final score.
It wasn't the Lady Bulldogs' only timely scoring drought of the game.
The team surrendered a 10-1 opening run featuring eight points from junior forward Lexi Kirgan. Chapel Hill missed seven shots and committed seven turnovers before Princess Suell hit a 3-point shot with 40 seconds remaining in the first period.
Chapel Hill drew to within 10-7 with a Dai-Jashnae Maddox shot from behind the arc on the first possession of the second quarter, but senior guard Maddy Slayter answered right back with a trey to start a 16-point second quarter for Bullard and a 26-12 halftime deficit for the underdog.
Bullard was led by 22 points from Kirgan. Slayter followed with six points. Chamberlain scored five points and recorded three assists on Kirgan scores.
Moore reached double digit-scoring with 10 points for Chapel Hill.
The Lady Panthers' win capped an impressive run for its two seniors. Slayter and forward Branay Clayton never lost a district game at home during their time as varsity players.
"We hadn't talked about it, but it's a real testament to those seniors," Gill said. "No doubt about it. They have given us great effort."
Bullard will wrap up its district slate at Kilgore on Tuesday. Chapel Hill will simultaneously play its own senior night game against Gladewater.
"We clinched district a couple of games ago," Gill said. "The goal from here is to not get complacent. We obviously had a few issues keeping composure tonight, so I think we'll have their attention."
No. 9 Bullard 43, Chapel Hill 38
District 16-4A Girls Basketball
At Bullard High School, Bullard
Chapel Hill 4 8 9 17 -- 38
Bullard 10 16 7 10 -- 43
CHAPEL HILL (11-18, 3-6) -- Kyia Moore 10; Dai-Jashnae Maddox 7; Gabby Brooks 6; Kadeja Warfield 5; Mykaela Alfred 4; Princess Suell 3; Schuyler Wages 3.
BULLARD (28-5, 9-0) -- Lexi Kirgan 22; Maddy Slayter 6; Kristen Chamberlain 5; DeAnna Howard 4; Hannah Lloyd 3; Lauren Zachry 3.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Chapel Hill: Maddox, Suell, Warfield. Bullard: Slayter (2).