The Brownwood Lady Lions scored the first 13 points of the second half to break a 21-all tie and pull away from Ballinger for a 48-36 victory in their Bluebonnet Shootout opener Friday evening at Warren Gym.

    Patricia Wilson led Brownwood with 16 points and Sara Byrd chipped in 15, followed by six points each from Dusty Harris and Lakeeta Vaccaro, three points from Sydnie Darden and two points from Alyson Finnigan.

    Byrd scored the first four points of the second half to give Brownwood a 25-21 lead it would not relinquish. Following a bucket from Wilson, Byrd sank another deuce before Wilson hit a 3-pointer to push the Lady Lions’ lead to 32-21 with 10:53 left in the 20-minute half.

    Wilson scored again 49 seconds later to cap the 13-0 run.

    Ballinger closed to within 34-26 before a bucket by Harris and a trey from Darden allowed Brownwood to stretch its lead to 39-26 with 6:58 remaining.

    The Lady Lions’ lead peaked at 17 points, 46-29, with 3:14 left following a bucket by Harris.

    Brownwood will face Jim Ned at 10 a.m. and Cisco at 2 p.m. today at Warren Gym. The tournament championship game is slated for 4:30 p.m.

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MERKEL 38, EARLY 37

    Merkel scored the go-ahead bucket with nine seconds remaining, and the Early Lady Horns couldn’t get a shot off at the end of the game as they suffered a first-round loss.

    Aubrey Horton scored 14 points to pace Early, followed by 12 from Katie Isom, five from Morgan Birrell and three points each from Hannah McDaniel and Charity Johnston.

    Early led 6-4 just 2:53 into the game, but scored only two points over the next 14 minutes as Merkel built a 19-8 lead. The Lady Horns closed the half with a 9-0 spurt as McDaniel drained a long 3-pointer as time expired to cut the halftime deficit to 19-17.

    After a back and forth second half, Early took its final lead with 37 seconds left on a free throw by Isom.

    Early will face Cherokee at 11 a.m. today in the Brownwood High auxiliary gym, then meet the Ballinger JV at 1 p.m. in Warren Gym.