Longview Lady Lobos Hold Off Tyler Lee + Clinch Playoff Berth
TYLER -- The Longview Lady Lobos needed a win Tuesday night at rival Tyler Lee to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot from District 12-5A.
Longview withstood a dreadful second half, blowing a 12-point lead before finding a way to defeat the Lady Raiders, 48-47, at Lee Varsity Gymnasium.
The Lady Lobos (17-11, 5-5) are now two games in front of Lee (13-18, 3-7) for fourth in 12-5A with two games to play. Longview won both meetings against Lee -- by a total of four points -- to own the tiebreaker.
"The was a big one for us," Longview coach Keith Smith said. "You have to hand it to Tyler Lee. In that third quarter, they picked up the intensity. We found a way to break their press enough times to finish it. And we hit a couple big free throws."
Ravan Chism led Longview with 15 points, five steals and two assists.
The Lady Raiders were paced by Ciara Johnson, who finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals despite spending significant minutes on the bench because of foul trouble.
"I told the kids before the game tonight that this was going to be the toughest game we've played all year," Lee coach Lloyd Mahaffey said. "I don't care what the other teams gave us. The fact was that Longview had been in our district the last four years and they had not made the playoffs and we were the only team standing in their way, and they got it done."
Tree Brooks, who finished with six points, six assists and four steals, hit one of two free throws to give Lee a 47-46 lead with 28 seconds remaining. And after Longview turned it over on the next possession with 22 seconds to go, Lee had a chance to seal it.
But Kiara Ross stepped in front of a Shreece Pryor pass and was fouled with eight seconds remaining. Ross sank both foul shots to put Longview back in front.
"They had a one-point lead," Smith said. "We went 25 and wanted to trap whenever we got a chance. We got a break out of it and that was two big (free throws) right there."
Lee had one last chance to keep its playoff hopes alive, but Berjae Lewis' shot attempt at the buzzer fell short.
"We wanted to trap (Johnson) when she got it; we wanted somebody else to beat us," Smith said. "Luckily she just missed a shot and that's what we needed."
Free-throw shooting played a major role in the outcome. Longview went 10 of 15 from the charity stripe, while Lee was just 13 of 25 from the line.
"We shot 50 percent from the free throw line, and in games like this you've got to make free throws," Mahaffey said. "It was no one person's fault, it was a team effort. Ten players stepped on the floor and it took 10 to lose it."
Longview went into halftime with a 24-12 lead, but Lee turned up its defensive pressure in the second half. The Lady Raiders recorded 19 of their 22 steals in the final two quarters, 13 in the third quarter alone when Lee cut the deficit to three by outscoring the Lady Lobos, 19-10.
"I told them I wanted to see what they were made of and the rest of this game was going to be what they had in their heart," Mahaffey said. "I think they came out and showed what they had, but it was just a little bit too late. They came out and played with a lot of tenacity, listened to coaching and cut the deficit. We just didn't finish it."
Longview's season continues Friday at home against North Mesquite, while Lee travels to Mesquite Horn.
District 12-5A Girls Basketball
At Lee Varsity Gym, Tyler
Longview 48, Tyler Lee 47
Longview 16 8 10 14 -- 48
Tyler Lee 10 2 19 16 -- 47
LONGVIEW--Ravan Chism, 15; Kiara Ross, 9; Mikayla Smith, 9; Kiambriya Sheridan, 6; Maci Hopkins, 5; Halee Brewer, 2; Aisia Gray, 2.
TYLER LEE--Ciara Johnson, 18; Dajah Thompson, 8; Tree Brooks, 6; Emem David, 5; Berjae Lewis, 4; Dominique Thomas, 4; Shreece Pryor, 2.
RECORDS--Longview 17-11 (5-5); Tyler Lee 13-18 (3-7).