Canyon soars past Stephenville, No. 1 Glen Rose rolls over Randall
Opponents should know by this late date that letting the Canyon Lady Eagles get an early upper hand generally doesn’t pay off in the end.
The Stephenville Honeybees became the latest team to find that out Friday night in the Region I-4A semifinals.
After breaking an early tie, Canyon took control of the game against Stephenville at Lubbock Christian University’s Rip Griffin Center. The Lady Eagles didn’t let up, taking the sting out of the Honeybees in the second quarter and cruising to a 49-31 victory.
That puts No. 4 Canyon (30-3) in Saturday’s 7 p.m. championship game against No. 1 Glen Rose, who routed Canyon’s CISD rival Randall 69-42 in the evening’s other region semi. The winner will go to the state tournament in San Antonio.
The Lady Eagles never trailed as the tightest the game was came when Stephenville (32-5) tied it 7-7. But it was all Canyon after that.
“I thought our defensive pressure was really good,” Canyon coach Tate Lombard said. “We kind of took a little time to get going. The war of attrition kind of helped us in the at second quarter when we got some turnovers and that led to some open shots. That kind of wore (Stephenville) down a little bit to make a big run like that.”
Canyon closed the first half with a 13-2 run and led 29-13 at halftime. Like most teams who fall behind the Lady Eagles by that margin, the Honeybees had too big a hold from which to stage a rally. The Lady Eagles led by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter, by which time they had emptied their bench.
As if Canyon’s opponents don’t have enough to worry about, the two leading scorers for the Lady Eagles were sophomores Sydnee Winfrey and Jaylee Moss, who had 11 points each. Stephenville didn’t have a single player in double figures, as Lillie Skiles led the Honeybees with eight points. A major key for the Lady Eagles was that they held Stephenville’s leading scorer on the season, Mya Wilson, to a mere four points.
The Randall Lady Raiders couldn’t have found out more painfully why the Glen Rose Lady Tigers have been the No. 1 team almost the entire season.
In the second game of the I-4A tournament, Glen Rose scored the first 25 points of the game against Randall, making the outcome seem like a formality. The Lady Raiders never seriously threatened in falling 69-42.
Randall, making its first appearance in the region tournament in 16 years, finished the season 27-10. Glen Rose (38-1) faces Canyon with the right to go to the state tournament on the line.
The Lady Raiders wasted no time in taking a 25-0 lead. Randall’s Sadie Sanchez broke the streak by hitting a 3-pointer, but that was a mere pause for Glen Rose. At halftime, Glen Rose led 52-8, having hit nine 3-pointers in the first half. Meanwhile, only Sanchez and Brooke Henderson scored in the first half for Randall with four points apiece. Sanchez led the Lady Raiders with 14 points. Ashley Norman scored 13, all in the second half, as Randall made the score look more respectable with a late run.
Alexis Rynders led four Glen Rose players in double figures with 24 points, 21 of them in the first half.
Stephenville 9 13 22 31
Canyon 13 29 43 49
S– Lillie Skiles 8, Lucy Espinoza 4, Mya Wilson 4. C– Sydnee Winfrey 11, Jaylee Moss 11. Records: Stephenville 32-5, Canyon 30-3.
Glen Rose 27 52 63 69
Randall 3 8 23 42
GR– Alexis Rynders 24, Grace Booth 13, Lily Melton 11, Aimee Flippen 10. R– Sadie Sanchez 14, Ashley Norman 13. Records: Glen Rose 38-1, Randall 27-10.
Panhandle-Gruver set to collide in Region I-2A championship
Gruver and Panhandle both took care of business in the semifinal round of the Region I-2A Tournament at the Texan Dome on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland on Friday afternoon.
The No. 7-ranked Ettes rolled over Sundown 60-27, as the No. 9-ranked Lady Hounds took control in the second half to knock off No. 2 New Home 63-50.
Panhandle (28-7) and Gruver (28-5) will now meet for the Region I-2A championship at 2 p.m. Saturday back in Levelland. It’s fitting that it’s these two powerhouse girls’ programs meeting for a spot in the UIL Class 2A state tournament with each team representing Region I over the past two years. It’s also the third straight meeting between the two teams with Panhandle beating Gruver on the way to winning the region in 2021 thanks to a 58-43 win, then the Lady Hounds gaining a measure of revenge with a 50-32 victory last season on the way to winning the state championship.
Panhandle never had an issue opening up a 21-8 lead on Sundown and never looking back. The Ettes ran the lead to as many as 25 points in the second half before finishing the game out 60-27. Taylor Brinkley and Grace Sims each scored 10 points for Panhandle.
Gruver and New Home (30-5) was as good as advertised through the first two quarters with the game going to halftime tied, 27-27. However, the Lady Hounds broke the game wide open in the third quarter outscoring the Lady Leopards 21-7 to go up 48-34. Gruver held on in the fourth quarter to nab its 11th straight playoff win. Kimber Whitehead was clutch pouring in a game-high 22 points. Teammate Brenna Butler chipped in 13.
Sundown 8 19 25 27
Panhandle 21 40 50 60
S- Shea Beadles 7. P- Taylor Brinkley 10, Grace Sims 10. Records: Sundown 26-9; Panhandle 29-7.
New Home 13 27 34 50
Gruver 14 27 48 63
NH- Baccus 20, Stewart 12. G- Kimber Whitehead 22, Brenna Butler 13. Records: New Home 30-5; Gruver 28-5.
Nazareth-Claude will square off in Region I-1A championship
The No. 7-ranked Nazareth Lady Swifts were able to keep Whiteface at arm’s length during a 47-34 victory on Friday night as the Claude Lady Stangs had to rally for a 56-52 win against Borden County in the Region I-1A Tournament semifinals at the Texan Dome on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland on Friday night.
After falling in this round last year, the Swiftettes (28-9) are headed back to the Region I-1A final for an unprecedented ninth time in the past 10 seasons. But to get back to the UIL Class 1A state tournament, Nazareth will have to battle a very talented Claude (23-10) squad at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Nazareth trailed 17-16 in the first quarter. The Swiftettes never panicked playing strong defense to take a 26-20 advantage by halftime. In the second half, the Swiftettes were able to pull away thanks a strong two quarters behind the play of Brooklyn Birkenfeld who scored a game-high 18 points. Brooklyn Dyer added nine in the win.
Claude had a much tougher challenge. Borden County had all the momentum with a 25-9 first but were able to climb back to trail 32-24 at the break. Trailing by six points after three quarters, the Lady Stangs took over the in the final frame going on a 23-11 run in the final eight minutes to get the come-from-behind victory.
Annie Holland had 17 points to lead Claude. Teammate Alexis Eddleman poured in 16 and Bobbie Renee Fouquet chipped in with 13.
Whiteface 17 20 30 34
Nazareth 16 26 40 47
W- Martha 21, Rector 7. N- Brooklyn Birkenfeld 18, Brooklyn Dyer 9. Records: Whiteface 28-5; Nazareth 28-9.
Borden County 20 32 41 52
Claude 11 24 35 58
B- White 24, Schmidt 11. C- Anne Holland 17, Alexis Eddleman 16, Bobbie Renee Fouquet 13. Records: Borden County 31-6; Claude 23-10.