Two-Time Defending Champ Argyle Wears Down Bullard
COMMERCE -- The Bullard Lady Panthers did their best to hang with a much bigger and more experienced Argyle team, but simply ran out of gas.
Two-time defending state champion Argyle ground out a 36-24 victory over Bullard, Friday night in their Class 4A Region II semifinal at The Field House on the campus of Texas A&M-Commerce.
Bullard (31-7) was eliminated in the regional semis for the second consecutive season.
“Back-to-back regional tournaments and three years in a row winning 31 games; this group’s really special and been very successful," said Bullard coach Barry Gill. "The seniors are going to go on to lead very successful lives. We’ve just got to go back to work and get ready for next year.”
Argyle (34-2) will face Carrollton Ranchview (27-7) at 2 p.m. Saturday for the regional title.
The turning point of the game came in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Bullard senior guard Hanna Lloyd, the team's top perimeter shooter, picked up two fouls in the first two minutes of the second half and fouled with 5:51 to play in the third quarter.
The Lady Panthers could only muster nine points without the services of Lloyd.
“It was a big factor," Gill said of Lloyd fouling out so early. "When you lose your all-region girl from last year in the third quarter, it certainly affects things."
Bullard's defense was able to keep it in the game, as the Lady Panthers trailed by just six points, 24-18, heading in the fourth quarter.
“We typically play pretty good defense and we battled at that end, and we tried to shorten the game on offense with a lot of action that runs clock. But they’re two-time state champions for a reason.”
Argyle began the fourth with a 7-0 run that effectively put the game out of reach.
Argyle made just one more field goal than Bullard in the second half, but compensated by going 9-of-16 from the foul line down the stretch. Meanwhile, Bullard misfired on all three of its second-half free throw attempts.
Vivian Gray led Argyle with 12 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Sophie Betzhold added 10 points -- seven in the second half.
Sydney Foster had eight points to lead Bullard in defeat. Lauren Zachry added six points, while Allie Kirgan was limited to just two points to go along with six rebounds and three assists.
Bullard knocked down three 3-pointers and led 10-9 after the opening quarter, and the teams entered halftime tied at 15-15.
Argyle 36, Bullard 24
Girls Class 4A Region II Semifinal
At The Field House, Texas A&M-Commerce
Bullard 9 6 3 6 — 24
Argyle 8 7 9 12 — 36
BULLARD (31-7) — Sydney Foster, 8; Lauren Zachry, 6; Abby Ehrman, 3; Hanna Lloyd, 3; Allie Kirgan, 2; Abby Storey, 2.
ARGYLE (34-2) — Vivian Gray, 12; Sophie Betzhold, 10; Madison Ralston, 7; Gabby Standifer, 6; Jocelyn Pierce, 1.
THREE-POINT GOALS — Bullard: Foster (2), Zachry (2), Lloyd. Argyle: Betzhold (2), Standifer.