KILGORE -- For the first time in a decade, the Kilgore Lady Bulldogs are headed to the area round of the playoffs.

Thanks to a 15-0 third-quarter spurt, Kilgore defeated the Mabank Lady Panthers 55-43 in their Class 3A Region II bi-district playoff at Bulldog Gymnasium on Wednesday.

"I'm just so proud of these girls," said Kilgore coach Jacquetta Brown. "I'm excited for these girls. I've experienced this (playoffs) as a coach but they've never got to experience anything like this. That's one reason I come to practice everyday, to give them an opportunity to feel what they are feeling right now."

Kilgore (22-8) will face Paris on Friday at a time and place to be determined.

Mabank opened the second half on a 6-2 run, highlighted by a Carson Marsh offensive board and putback, getting the Lady Panthers within five, 33-28, which forced Brown to call a timeout and regroup the troops.

"I told our girls to settle down and to keep playing our game," said Brown. "I told them it's just another game, and to stay with our game plan. We kind of got rattled and nerves got the best of them. We got back to doing what Kilgore does instead of reacting to what Mabank does."

A Burks soft jumper in the lane started a 15-0 run that spaned half the third and the beginning of the fourth quarter. When Mehringer sank a triple from well beyond the arc, it capped the game's biggest spurt and put Kilgore in cruise control.

Kilgore's Tony Burks led all scorers with 23 points and eight steals. Mehringer turned in an impressive stat line of 16 points, six boards, six assists and four steals. Freshman Mar'Shalia Lollie chimed in with a double-double -- 10 points and 13 rebounds.

"Any coach wants to walk into a program and have leaders like these two young ladies (Mehringer and Burks)," Brown said. "They lead on and off the floor, and in the classroom. I couldn't ask for two better kids to lead our program. They are everything you'd want in role-model leaders."

Kilgore opened the contest on an 13-5 run and when Burks pulled down a rebound, went coast-to-coast and dished to Mehringer for the layup, Kilgore extended its lead to 10 -- 26-16 -- midway through the second quarter.

Marsh, a freshman, led the Lady Panthers with 17 points -- including four 3-pointers. Meagan Holyfield added 15 points, and four rebounds. The two combined for 32 of the team's 43 points.

The senior duo of Mehringer and Burks reflected after the historical win.

"It feels really good to make history," said Mehringer. "Tony and I have never made it to any playoffs in team sports at Kilgore so it feels really great to accomplish this."