Chapel Hill Girls Start + Finish Strong to Eliminate No. 11 Brownsboro, 63-44
LINDALE -- District 16-4A has certainly been one of the best girls basketball districts in East Texas all season, and the same is holding true through two round of the playoffs.
The biggest statement yet may have come Friday night with Chapel Hill's 63-44 area-round defeat of No. 11 Brownsboro.
Chapel Hill (24-11), the third-place finisher in 16-4A, will meet district mate Gilmer next week in the Class 4A Region III quarterfinals. The date and location have yet to be determined.
District 14-4A champion Brownsboro, led by longtime coach Fred Griffin who earned his 1,000th career victory earlier this year, finished its season at 29-6.
The win was especially meaningful for Durham, who has always looked upon Griffin as a mentor.
"Coach Griffin has been a part of my life since I was in the seventh grade, being from Brownsboro," Durham said. "When I moved back to East Texas, the very first thing I did is go and talk to him. And he has helped me every day of my career, literally. And I can't thank him enough. He's an institution (at Brownsboro) and deservedly so. Any time you beat them it means something because of what he does and what he's built. There's nobody I respect more in my profession."
The Lady Bulldogs led Brownsboro by 13 points in the early stages of the third quarter, but a 15-1 Bearettes run over a four-minute span gave Brownsboro a 34-33 lead with 2:02 remaining in the quarter.
Following a timeout, Chapel HIll went on a 9-0 run to enter the fourth with an eight-point lead. And then an 11-0 spurt in the fourth put the game out of reach.
"We freaked out a little bit, and we just got back to running what we're supposed to run in those situations, the stuff we've done all year," Durham said. "We did a great job responding there, and that run at the end of the quarter was the difference in the game no doubt."
Lady Bulldogs sophomore Karlea Duhon, who's been injured for most of the season, put together her best outing of the year with 20 points off the bench. She had seven points in Chapel Hill's critical 9-0 run at the end of the third.
"She's just now getting her legs back, she's been really rusty," Durham said of Duhon. "She's very, very athletic and does a great job of running the floor and finishing plays. I'm thrilled to death to see her peaking at the right time for us."
Mykaela Alfred added 14 points and four rebounds for Chapel Hill, while April Walker picked up nine points and 12 boards and Daija Maddox had eight points, four rebounds, and five assists.
Kyia Moore had five points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, and six of Chapel Hill's 14 steals. The Lady Bulldogs got most of their steals on Brownsboro attempts to pass the ball into the low post.
"We scrimmaged them to start the year and then we played them over the Christmas break, so the things that we had seen we did a great job against tonight," Durham said.
Lexie Houston led a balanced Brownsboro scoring effort with eight points to go with five rebounds. Amber Walker added seven points and four boards, while M.J. Alexander, Lani Compton, and Tamaria Manning had six points each.
Eight Brownsboro turnovers allowed Chapel HIll to jump out to a 17-4 lead early in the second quarter. The Bearettes hit 9 of 12 free throws the rest of the period to claw back into contention and only trail 26-17 at halftime.
Alfred's 3-pointer gave the Lady Bulldogs a 32-19 lead two minutes into the third before Brownsboro mounted its rally to take its only advantage of the night.
Chapel Hill 63, No. 11 Brownsboro 44
Girls Class 4A Region II Area Playoff
At Lindale High School
Brownsboro 4 13 17 10 -- 44
Chapel Hill 12 14 16 21 -- 63
BROWNSBORO (29-6) -- Lexie Houston, 8; Amber Walker, 7; M.J. Alexander, 6; Lani Compton, 6; Tamaria Manning, 6; Lindsay Edwards, 5; Ty Warren, 4; Paiton Mitchell, 2.
CHAPEL HILL (24-11) -- Karlea Duhon, 20; Mykaela Alfred, 14; April Walker, 9; Daija Maddox, 8; Kyia Moore, 5; Princess Suell, 4; Allie Daniels, 3.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Brownsboro: Alexander, Edwards. Chapel Hill: Alfred, Moore.