Tatum, Gilmer See Seasons End on Friday
COMMERCE -- Despite it all, Tatum had a chance to send it into overtime.
Even after its fate seemed sealed. Even after the proverbial dagger had gone through the net. Tatum didn't quit.
The Lady Eagles nearly erased a nine-point deficit in less than two minutes. Somehow, they managed to get a steal off an inbounds pass with five seconds to go. Trailing by three, they had their shot. But as quickly as it fell into their laps, it vanished.
Sanger (31-7) smartly fouled Tatum, sending Essence Allen to the line for a 1-and-1. She missed the front end and time expired as Sanger hopped off the court with a 44-41 victory in a 4A Region II regional semifinal on Friday.
Sanger finished the game the way it started: hot.
Brooke Rollins scored 14 of her 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a couple of momentum-shifting 3-pointers. Her 3 with 6:43 to go tied the game at 30, and she hit a triple shortly after that to put Sanger in the lead for good.
Sanger shot 75 percent in the fourth quarter and 60 percent from the free throw line. Similarly, the Lady Indians made 66.7 percent of their first quarter field goals.
After that first quarter, Tatum (30-5) locked down its opponent. Sanger scored only four points in the second, as Tatum went into halftime down, 21-17. The Lady Eagles came out of the locker room with the same defensive intensity, taking their first lead of the game with 3:03 in the quarter after a bucket from Brianna Mitchell.
Tatum scored more than half of its points in the paint, where it doubled Sanger's total with 28 points. Jayla Hooper scored the majority of her 14 points down low and also came away with 12 rebounds for a double-double. Mitchell led the Lady Eagles with 16 points. She also had three steals.
Sanger advances to the regional final game, where it will face Argyle at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Commerce.
Argyle routs Gilmer
COMMERCE -- Some things seem fated to be.
That's one way to describe Gilmer's recent luck -- or lack thereof -- against Argyle in the playoffs. The Lady Buckeyes entered Friday's 4A Region II regional semifinal match having lost two of three times to Argyle in this round.
Friday would be no different. Gilmer couldn't handle the sharpshooting of the Lady Indians, falling 46-27.
There was a glaring absence in Gilmer's front court. Kyla Grant, through whom the Lady Buckeyes run most of their offense, was out sick with the flu. Without her, Gilmer (31-7) managed a lackluster eight points in the paint, a statistic it usually dominates.
Argyle got off to a scorching start, scoring 11 points before the Lady Buckeyes managed their first bucket. By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Indians had already built a double-digit advantage.
Argyle (31-7) was hot all night from 3-point range, hitting seven of its 21 attempts. Rhyle McKinney led Argyle with 16 points, including three 3-pointers, while Gabby Standiffer added 14.
Meshia Shead was a bright spot for Gilmer, scoring 12 points to lead the Lady Buckeyes. Haylee Jordan, who usually plays opposite of Grant in the post, finished with eight rebounds and two points.