The Brownwood Lady Lions have reached the playoffs in each of head coach Heather Hohertz’s four previous seasons, but a district championship has eluded the program in all of those campaigns. Tuesday, the Lady Lions can take a major step toward ending that drought as they host the No. 23 Liberty Hill Lady Panthers.
Brownwood (14-5, 1-0) and Liberty Hill (13-8, 1-0), two of three undefeated teams in District 8-3A action, square off at 6:30 p.m. at Warren Gym with an opportunity to wrestle away control of the district race at stake.
The Lady Lions, who fell out of the Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 3A Top 25, are coming off a 50-28 victory over Burnet in Friday’s district opener. Liberty Hill, which fell out of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 but reappeared in the TGCA rankings, also cruised in its district opener as well, doubling up Llano, 51-25.
“I haven’t really watched a lot of the film, just a little bit of it. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself,” Hohertz said Friday night following the Burnet win. “They’re a good ball club. They take care of the ball, they go about nine or 10 deep and have some good post players. They’re going to give us a good test and it will be tough for us. But after this win, the way they played, the way they came back, they’ll be ready.”
Against Burnet, the Lady Lions trailed by eight points with just under a minute left in the first quarter, but rallied to grab a 22-19 halftime lead. In the second half, the Lady Lions yielded just two points in the third period and nine points over both quarters — with an 8:24 scoreless stretch included.
“Burnet did a good job coming out and putting pressure on us and that took us out of our game for the first quarter,” Hohertz said following the Burnet game. “I told them to slow down, take care of the ball and we’ll run when we need to run, and that’s what we did the second half.”
On the offensive end, the Lady Lions attempted 32 free throws and converted 21, while Burnet went to the foul line only twice. Keeta Vaccaro led the Lady Lions with 26 points trailed by Trejouir Wilson with 14, Vici Henry with five, Alyson Finnigan with three and Ashley Vaccaro with two points
“When you don’t shoot the ball very well you have to find ways to score, and that’s getting to the free throw line,” Hohertz said Friday night. “A strength of ours is that we’re quick and can get to the basket. That’s been our identity for five years. But we’re a much improved team shooting free throws this year than we’ve been in the past.”
In other district games tonight, Gatesville (9-9, 1-0) visits Burnet (0-1 in district) while Lampasas (9-9, 0-1) ventures to Llano (5-13, 0-1). Following Tuesday's outing, the Lady Lions will play their first district road contest at Lampasas on Friday.
8-3A GIRLS BASKETBALL
W L W L
Brownwood 1 0 14 5
Liberty Hill 1 0 13 8
Gatesville 1 0 9 9
Lampasas 0 1 9 9
Llano 0 1 5 13
Burnet 0 1 n/a n/a
Liberty Hill at Brownwood
Lampasas at Llano
Gatesville at Burnet