The Stonewall offense was stymied by Roff during a critical stretch that began in the second quarter and carried over into the third, and that lull proved to be the difference in the game.
With the season hanging in the balance, the host Lady Tigers outscored Stonewall 20-7 over the middle two quarters en route to a tense 39-32 win in Class A District Tournament action in Roff Friday night.
The 12-ranked Lady Tigers improved to 19-6 heading into a district title matchup with Allen that was played Saturday night. The Lady Longhorns saw their season end at 13-12.
“We had a stretch right there where we couldn’t get the ball in the hole,” said Stonewall head coach Brian Davis. “You have to give Roff some credit. They changed some defenses up, and we didn’t adjust to it real well. At the same time, we missed some easy shots and some free shots.”
Stonewall had the early upper hand, getting two quick baskets from Shania Bills and Alexis Lambert to start the second quarter and grab a 14-9 lead. Lambert’s short jumper came at the 6:38 mark of the second period. Stonewall wouldn’t make another field goal until Lamber broke the ice with a bucket with 4:44 left in the third. Roff had outscored the Lady Longhorns 14-3 during the pivotal SHS dry spell.
“The last time we played them (a 55-54 double overtime win by Roff), we came out after the half kind of soft. We decided to come out this time and put pressure on them,” said Roff head coach Blake Crawford. “We gave up a couple of quick buckets, but then our pressure started pushing them out beyond the perimeter. They didn’t get many good looks in the third quarter.”
Roff led 29-17 heading into the fourth quarter, and Stonewall never got closer than eight until Mackenzie Davis hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
The Lady Tigers got big games from playmakers Lauren Trimmer and Breecia Crawford. Trimmer scored a team-high 13 points, while Crawford — who was a big force in the paint — turned in a strong all-around game with 12 points, 16 rebounds and four steals.
“Those two played well,” Blake Crawford said.
Freshman Jessi Scott was next with six points. the Lady Tigers also welcomed Ashley Cornell back to the lineup after missing the past few weeks with an injury.
“We were able to play eight kids tonight, and they all came in and contributed at different times. It kept us fresh,” Crawford said.
Lambert, a freshman starter for the Lady Longhorns, scored a game-high 14 points in defeat while Bills (the team’s only senior) added eight points in her final game in green. Lambert also had eight rebounds and three steals.
Davis said he was proud of his players, despite the tough district draw.
“We played good defense and we played hard. We fought hard and gave ourselves a chance to win. I was proud of our effort,” he said. “It’s disappointing because these kids worked real hard.”
Stonewall lost five players from last year’s squad and had to learn on the go this season.
“These kids had a lot of growing up to do. Every game we got better. We started off kind of slow, but we got better. These kids handled adversity well all year,” he said.
The Lady Longhorns were without the services of starter Taylor Barrett, who withdrew from school the week before district play.