Chapel Hill Rallies in Second Half For First-Round Playoff Upset of Brownsboro
TYLER -- Chapel Hill's up-and-down finish to the regular season prepared the Lady Bulldogs for their playoff opener.
Chapel Hill overcame a 12-point third-quarter deficit after scoring just 10 points the entire first half, and earned a stunning 40-39 upset of Brownsboro in their Class 3A bi-district playoff Wednesday night at John Tyler High School's Lions Den.
The Lady Bulldogs (22-12), the fourth seed from 16-3A, will face Crandall later this week in the area round. Date, location and time have yet to be determined. Brownsboro, which shared the 15-3A title with Canton and entered the postseason as the district's No. 1 seed, finished its season at 24-8.
"It's a huge win for our program," said Chapel Hill coach Jeremy Durham. "I can't put into words what (Brownsboro coach) Fred Griffin means to me. It means something to beat them any time. I'm so proud of our kids. We've had a lot of adversity and fought through it, and that's about as big a win as the program's had in probably 15 years or so."
Brownsboro called timeout with three seconds remaining to set up an inbounds pass from underneath its own basket. Victoria Walker got the pass, but Chapel HIll's Shay Ross blocked her shot as time expired to complete the upset.
Ross finished the night with 10 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
"She is a senior, a four-year varsity player, phenomenal competitor and what she does for us defensively cannot be overstated," Durham said of Ross. "She does an unbelievable job defensively."
Dai-Jashnae Maddox led Chapel Hill with 11 points and five steals. She hit three 3-pointers on the night -- two in the second half that each cut the Lady Bulldogs' deficit to one possession. Kyia Moore's 3-pointer followed Maddox's final long-range field goal and gave Chapel Hill a 32-31 lead with 6:53 remaining in the fourth.
"We're real young and we haven't been in the playoffs much," Durham said. "We couldn't make a shot in the first half, we were real nervous. We just settled down in the second half and started shooting it. We adjusted to what they were doing on the back side with our guards, got some open 3's and made them."
Chapel Hill, which trailed 27-15 with 3:10 showing on the third-quarter clock, rapidly climbed back in the game by going on an 11-0 run. The Lady Bulldogs hit six consecutive free throws before Maddox turned a steal into a layup and buried a 3-pointer to cut Brownsboro's lead to 27-26 with 46 seconds remaining in the period.
Brownsboro went back up by five points -- 31-26 -- heading into the fourth on M.J. Alexander's layup and two free throws.
The consecutive 3-pointers by Maddox and Moore gave Chapel Hill the lead for good. The Lady Bulldogs made just one more field goal -- a Ross putback off an offensive rebound -- the rest of the way, but converted six of their next seven free-throw attempts to build a 40-33 lead with 2:03 to play.
"From the free-throw line or the field, we're very streaky," Durham said. "When we get hot we shoot it really well, and we're not we don't. That's been the case all year, and we got hot at a good time."
Brownsboro made one more last-ditch effort. Baskets from Madi Montgomery and Alexander cut Chapel Hill's lead to 40-37 with 1:06 remaining. Walker then grabbed a steal and converted the layup while being fouled, which cut the lead to one point. Her missed free throw left Brownsboro's deficit at one with 51 seconds to play.
Chapel Hill's Kadeja Warfield was fouled with 13 seconds remaining, but she missed both free throws to leave the door open for Brownsboro.
Sydney Hightower led Brownsboro with 11 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three blocks, but she fouled out with 3:11 to go. Brianna Warren added 10 points, eight boards, three assists and three steals in the losing effort.
Chapel Hill 40, Brownsboro 39
Girls Class 3A Region II Bi-District Playoff
At Lions Den, Tyler
Chapel Hill 5 5 16 14 -- 40
Brownsboro 9 12 10 8 -- 39
CHAPEL HILL (22-12) -- Dai-Jashnae Maddox, 11; Shay Ross, 10; Gabby Brooks, 6; Kyia Moore, 5; Schuyler Wages, 4; Kadeja Warfield, 2; Shayy Moore, 2.
BROWNSBORO (24-8) -- Sydney Hightower, 11; Brianna Warren, 10; M.J. Alexander, 8; Victoria Walker, 4; Shelbie Bagby, 3; Madi Montgomery, 2; Ashlee Williams, 1.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Chapel Hill: Maddox (3), Moore. Brownsboro: Bagby.