Playoff-bound Lions wrap up regular season with ninth straight loss

STEPHENVILLE — The Brownwood Lady Lions will carry a two-game win streak into the postseason after upsetting District 4-4A champion and reigning Class 4A state champion Stephenville, 3-2 in a shootout, in Friday's regular season finale.

“This was a great way to end district play and head into the postseason with confidence,” said Brownwood head coach Brent Hardwick, whose team narrowly lost in two previous district meetings with the Honeybees. “It was the first time we have had our entire starting lineup on the field together since before district play. We fought hard and rotated quite a bit to save players from potential injury before the postseason, but everyone was firing on all cylinders.”

After a scoreless first half, Maddy Garza scored with an assist from Aleyia Cotton to put the Lady Lions in front. Stephenville battled back and took a 2-1 lead with the aid of a pair of Brownwood defensive miscues. With under 10 minutes left, Cotton got loose on the left flank and fired to Khloe Tobien, who finished to tie the score and secure a shootout.

In the shootout, Channing Baron — who recorded 11 saves during regulation — denied Stephenville's first two attempts. Meanwhile, Madison Chesser, Taylar Kinzler, Garza and Carly Person found the net to lock up the victory.

The Lady Lions (13-6, 4-5) will be the third seed from District 4-4A and face Wichita Falls Hirschi at 6 p.m. Thursday in Mineral Wells in bi-district action.

Stephenville 5, Lions 1

STEPHENVILLE — The District 4-4A fourth-seeded Brownwood Lions wrapped up the regular season with a 5-1 loss at Stephenville Friday night.

Zack Smith tallied the lone goal for Brownwood on an assist from Joe Gosch. In goal, Braden Bushnell recorded four saves with two goals allowed while Caleb Woodcock finished with four saves and three goals allowed.

“The score was 2-1 at halftime and the boys did a great job of trusting each other scoring their first goal in district play that wasn't a penalty kick,” Hardwick said. “We took a risk to try to play for the win by moving Braden up top so we could generate a little bit more offense. It was just one of those gambles that didn't pay off.

“But I'm very confident going into the postseason after seeing them play together and unified. This was the best I've seen them this district season. That gives us hope and confidence for the future.”

The Lions (4-15-1, 0-9) will attempt to snap their nine-game skid in bi-district action against District 3-4A champion Bridgeport at 8 p.m. Thursday in Mineral Wells.