No. 15 Pittsburg Girls Crush Spring Hill to Clinch Class 3A Region II Tournament Berth
WINONA -- The 2-2 tie less than a minute into the game was the last time the result of Tuesday night's Class 3A Region II girls basketball quarterfinal was in doubt.
Pittsburg scored the next 26 points and built a 31-point halftime lead in a 63-19 rout at Winona High School that sends the 15th-ranked Lady Pirates to their third regional tournament in four years under veteran coach Debra Manley.
Pittsburg (31-5) plays No. 16 Celina at 6 p.m. Friday at Texas A&M-Commerce in a 3A Region II semifinal. That game precedes the No. 14 Liberty-Eylau vs. No. 5 Krum contest at 8 p.m. Pittsburg played in 2010 and 2012 regional tournaments and will get a shot at reaching the state tournament this weekend.
In its last two playoff games, Pittsburg used offensive patience and defensive consistency to subdue its opponents, needing no more than 49 points in either contest and winning them by 26 and 10 points, respectively. Friday against Spring Hill (18-18), Pittsburg showed it can run the floor and score in transition.
The Lady Pirates scored their first 18 points in the paint thanks to halfcourt execution and transition layups and led 21-2 after one quarter. At that point, Pittsburg had made 9 of 14 field-goal attempts while Spring Hill was 1-for-6. Pittsburg pushed its lead to 39-8 by halftime, when the Lady Pirates had already accumulated 32 points in the paint.
Manley said she knew her team was capable of switching styles if needed to be successful.
"We try to do that because you don't know who's gonna be next. We prepared for everything. We didn't know if they were gonna go diamond-and-1 on (leading scorer) Cheyenne (Ramey), we didn't know if they were just gonna man up and deny her, or if they were gonna go box-and-1," Manley said. "We looked at everything. I told the kids at some point they'll get out of it, and you've just gotta go and play. The kids responded well. This is just a great group."
Senior guard Shakira Duffey led Pittsburg with 21 points, five rebounds, four steals, and three assists, while senior guard DeNasia Watson had 18 points, seven steals, six assists, and four rebounds. Ramey, a senior forward, added 10 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Senior post Meagan Peters had 10 points and four steals.
Pittsburg collected 17 steals to Spring Hill's four. Pittsburg shot 63.4 percent thanks in part to 14 of the Lady Pirates' 26 field goals being assisted. Pittsburg shot 65.4 percent in the first half while holding Spring Hill to 18.9 percent.
Junior guard Jacey Fleet and freshman guard Ann Hollas led Spring Hill with six points apiece. Senior post Ashlyn White had four points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Class 3A Region II
Girls Basketball Quarterfinal
No. 15 Pittsburg 63, Spring Hill 19
Winona High School
Spring Hill -- 2 6 7 4 -- 19
Pittsburg -- 21 18 16 8 -- 63
Spring Hill (18-18) -- Jacey Fleet 6, Ann Hollas 6, Ashlyn White 4, Leslie Blevins 2, Audrey Popelar 1.
Pittsburg (31-5) -- Shakira Duffey 21, DeNasia Watson 18, Meagan Peters 10, Cheyenne Ramey 10, D'Maya Hashaway 2, Jasmine Walker 2.