• Kale Steed

Gruver grounds Grapevine to take Class 2A semifinals

Gruver’s Andi Salgado goes in for a layup during the Lady Hounds 59-49 win against Grapeland in a UIL Class 2A semifinal at the Alamodome in San Antonio. [Matt Smith/ For Press Pass Sports]

For the second time in five years Gruver is back in a state championship game.

The Lady Hounds made that possible with superb shooting, and strong defense to down Grapeland, 59-49, in a UIL Class 2A state semifinal Thursday morning at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The Lady Sandies, who finish the season at 34-6, had no answer for Gruver in the inside. After a slow start, trailing 9-6, midway through the first quarter Gruver started to find its rhythm inside.

The Lady Hounds tied the game 14 all by the end of the first and never trailed the remainer of the contest. Gruver’s strategy was feeding post player Andi Salgado. The junior out matched Grapeland’s size scoring a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting.

“Andi did an outstanding job,” Gruver coach Shannon Fisher said. “We had a game-plan, and we felt like if we could move the ball, and get it inside we’d be successful. Andi found the open spots in the defense, the guards got her the ball and it worked out.”

Gruver ended the game outscoring Grapeland in the paint by a convincing 42-24 margin.

The Lady Hounds pushed their lead to as many as 22 points after a 10-2 run to in the fourth quarter as shots continued to fall. Sophomore Bailey Maupin and senior Maddie McCloy were each effective. Maupin poured in 15 points with eight boards, while McCloy added 14 and eight.

Gruver, which held the Lady Sandies to 33.3 percent shooting, was an incredible 26-of-41 from the field (63.4 percent).

“You never know in this environment what you’re going to get,” Fisher said. “We didn’t play our best game, and Grapeland had something to do with that. But our team knows what’s at stake to get to where they want to be.”

The Lady Hounds improve to 37-2 overall and will play for the program’s first state championship when they face Muenster at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Hornets (36-4) defeated Mason 43-34 in Thursday’s other semifinal.

Gruver 59, Grapeland 49

Grapeland (34-6): Tatiyana Bowie 0 0-0 0, Teira Jones 3 3-6 9, Jessie Payne 4 0-0 12, Kenya Woods 7 1-1 15, Keaundra Harris 3 3-4 10, JaMiuyah Bowie 1 0-0 3, Mary Jane Watson 0 0-0 0, Tori Woodford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 7-11 49.

Gruver (37-2): Andi Salgado 8 2-4 19, Maddie McCloy 6 2-2 14, Camryn Armes 4 0-0 8, Brenna Butler 0 0-0 0, Bailey Maupin 7 0-0 15, Callie Conyers 0 0-0 0, Bailey Glass 0 0-0 0, Keerstin Babbs 1 0-0 3, Marlie Kelp 0 0-0 0, Kami Whitehead 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 4-6 59.

Grapeland 14 24 35 49

Gruver 14 31 44 59

3-point goals: Grapeland 6 (Payne 4, Harris 1, J. Bowie 1), Gruver 3 (Salgado 1, Maupin 1, Babbs 1). Total fouls: Grapeland 12, Gruver 13. Fouled out: Woods. Technical fouls: None.

UIL Class 2A state semifinals

Friday’s state semifinals

Gruver 59, Grapeland 49

Muenster 43, Mason 34

Saturday’s state championship

Gruver (37-2) vs. Muenster (36-4), 1:30 p.m.

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