Panhandle’s Mason Jones torched Vega with a game-high 27 points to lead the Ettes past the Lady Longhorns 71-38 at a packed Randall Gym on Thursday. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
In what was a very highly anticipated matchup between Top 10 Class 2A teams, Panhandle came out hitting on all cylinders while playing tremendous defense to stun previously unbeaten Vega 71-38 in front of a capacity crowd of over 1,500 fans that packed the Randall Gym on Thursday.
Vega’s zone defense didn’t have an answer for Ettes red hot guard Mason Jones. Jones was stellar from the perimeter, especially in the first half knocking down five 3-pointers that helped give Panhandle a commanding 35-15 lead at the break. Jones went on to finish the contest with a game-high 27 points and six total 3-point field goals, as the No. 8 Ettes improve to 29-5 overall.
No. 2-ranked Vega, which finishes a fantastic season at 33-1, struggled on the against Panhandle’s stingy defense, scoring only two field goals until the two minute mark of the third quarter.
Familiar foes to meet again
Both Gruver and Wellington cruised in its respective area round matchups Thursday night.
The No. 3-ranked Lady Hounds downed Farwell 65-25, while the No. 7 Lady Skyrockets pummeled Sudan 53-24.
Fans will now see another matchup in what’s become one of the greatest Texas Panhandle girls basketball playoff rivalries over the past decade.
When Gruver (33-2) and Wellington (30-5) clash at 6:30 p.m. at the Caprock Activity Center in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal Monday night, it will mark the ninth meeting between the two powerhouse programs in the last 13 years. The Lady Skyrockets lead the playoff series by a 6-2 margin, including a 48-44 victory last year in this same round.
Thursday’s top performers
Nazareth senior star Cambrie Heiman gave McLean fits scoring a game-high 25 points to lead the No. 1-ranked Swifettes to a Class 1A area round win against the Lady Tigers, 55-31.
Canyon put four players in double-digits as the No. 1-ranked Lady Eagles blew out Fort Stockton 92-13 Thursday. Taylor Thomas paced Canyon with 15 points, followed by Chloe Callahan and Bella Hayden’s 14. Kenadee Winfey chipped in 12 during the rout.
Jones wasn’t the only player to light up the scoreboard against Vega. Panhandle teammates Kinley Graham poured in 17 points, with Bailey Walterscheid adding 12.
Division I prospect Bailey Maupin of Gruver was the difference for the Lady Hounds in a rout of Farwell. The highly-touted sophomore put up a game-high 21 points afainst the Lady Blue.
Fort Stockton 9 10 12 13
Canyon 26 43 64 93
FS—Rodriguez 5. C— Taylor Thomas 15, Bella Hayden 14, Chloe Callahan 14, Kenadee Winfrey 12 Carter Cluck 10. Records: Fort Stockton 16–16; Canyon 30-1.
Panhandle 14 35 52 71
Vega 6 15 23 38
P— Mason Jones 27, Kinley Graham 17, Bailey Walterscheid 12. V— Lara Mason 9. Records: Panhandle 28-5; Vega 33-1.
Wellington 17 26 42 53
Sudan 2 12 16 24
W— Kyla Kane 13, Marlee Brown 12, Kaylee Jo Neeley 11. Records: Wellington 30-5; Sudan 22-8.
Gruver 11 27 41 65
Farwell 10 14 18 26
G— Maupin 21, McCloy 15, Butler 11. F— Atkinson 6, Rodriguez 6. Records: Gruver 33-2; Farwell 23-11.
McLean 11 22 28 31
Nazareth 16 28 41 55
M— Lily Reichman 15, Caden Carter 12. N— Cambrie Heiman 25, Emma Kleman 8. Records: McLean 21-9, Nazareth 26-9.
L.D. Bell (30-3) vs. Tascosa (25-10), 6 p.m. Friday, Vernon HS
Palo Duro (16-17) vs. El Paso Burges (20-9), 6 p.m. Friday, Kermit
Amarillo High (33-2) vs. El Paso Eastlake (27-5), 6 p.m. Friday, Andrews HS
Dalhart (25-9) vs. Mountain View (17-8), 4:30 p.m. Friday, Denver City HS
San Elizario (29-3) vs. Hereford (22-9), 6 p.m. Friday, Monahans
Bushland (21-9) vs. Ballinger (21-10), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Slaton HS
New Deal (21-12) vs. Clarendon (21-11), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Canyon HS
White Deer (16-15) vs. Valley (15-4), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Amarillo High Activity Center
Happy (19-15) vs. Claude (27-5), 6:30 p.m. Friday, Caprock Activity Center
Wildorado (16-11) vs. Higgins (20-3), 6 p.m. Friday, Pampa HS