LINDALE -- Quinlan Ford decided it didn't want Cheyenne Ramey to beat the Lady Panthers, so Pittsburg turned DeNasia Watson.

The 15th-ranked Lady Pirates patiently attacked Quinlan Ford's sagging zone defense that focused on Ramey, resulting in big second and third quarters in Pittsburg's 49-23 Class 3A Region II bi-district basketball playoff victory Tuesday night at Lindale High School.

Pittsburg (29-5) is tentatively scheduled to play District 16-3A champion Bullard at 7 p.m. Friday in Lindale in a 3A Region II area playoff.

Quinlan Ford (21-12) shadowed Ramey, Pittsburg's leading scorer, wherever she went while giving Pittsburg anything it wanted outside of about 12 feet. After a low-scoring first quarter -- Pittsburg led 5-3 entering the second -- the Lady Pirates started cracking Ford's scheme thanks to Watson, who repeatedly found seams in the defense to drive and score.

The 5-foot-8 junior guard scored 13 of Pittsburg's 20 first-half points and finished with 22 points and five steals. Pittsburg led 20-10 at halftime and used a 17-0 third-quarter run to put the game away, leading 37-12 with about two minutes left in the period.

"They tried to deny Cheyenne and then they sagged on everybody else. They just stayed down low," said Pittsburg coach Debra Manley. "I told the guards just drive all the time. De can score. I told them it doesn't matter how we get it or by how much, we have to just win the game. The kids adjusted well."

Pittsburg, which got 10 points from 6-foot-1 senior post Meagan Peters and seven points, five rebounds, and three assists from Ramey, outscored Ford 37-14 in the second and third quarters. After the 17-0 third-quarter run, Ford never got closer than 20 points and trailed by as many as 27.

"We tried to spread it out a little bit and make them come out," Manley said. "When you're down you're gonna have to come guard us. Then we tried to go inside or drive."

Senior wing Shakira Duffey had six points and six rebounds for Pittsburg, which shot 52.9 percent from the field and held Ford to 22.6 percent shooting. That included a 4-for-22 three-point performance (18.2 percent).

Ford junior guard Jesseca Keeton was the only Lady Panther to score in the game's first 22 minutes, when she scored 12 of her team-high 15 points as Ford fell behind 37-12 late in the third quarter. Ford's first non-Keeton points came on freshman Carli Torbert's free throws with 1:19 left in the third. Ariel Hernandez added six points on 2-for-3 three-point shooting in the final nine minutes.

Ford senior guard Taylor Elrod snagged a game-high seven rebounds, including six offensive, as the Lady Panthers edged the bigger, stronger Lady Pirates 21-19 on the glass.


Class 3A Region II
Bi-District Girls Basketball Playoff

No. 15 Pittsburg 49, Quinlan Ford 23

Lindale High School

Quinlan Ford -- 3 7 7 6 -- 23
Pittsburg -- 5 15 22 7 -- 49

Quinlan Ford (21-12) -- Jesseca Keeton 15, Ariel Hernandez 6, Carli Torbert 2.
Pittsburg (29-5) -- DeNasia Watson 22, Meagan Peters 10, Cheyenne Ramey 7, Shakira Duffey 6, Kasey Avinger 2, Jasmine Walker 2.