Although the District 7-4A fourth-seeded Brownwood Lady Lions did not capture their regular season finale, they will still carry a bit of positive momentum into the playoffs next week.
Coming off a five-set loss at Godley this past Friday, Brownwood fell to Stephenville, 25-16, 25-16, 26-28, 25-16 on Senior Night at Warren Gym Tuesday. But a spirited effort in the third set could be the type of boost the Lady Lions (11-19, 2-6) need.
“The seniors said in the last four years they've never even taken a set from Stephenville, so for us to be able to win the third set, and a very close one at that, it was exciting to see,” said Brownwood first-year head coach Jessica Withrow. “We were down 8-1 in that set and fought back and won it. I've very proud of their heart and their hustle.”
Down by seven early, the Lady Lions scored 15 of the next 18 points to grab a 16-11 edge. Stephenville then reeled off the next seven points for an 18-16 lead, and seven ties followed. Knotted at 26, a kill from Gracie Boswell pushed Brownwood in front for good, then Katelyn Windham delivered a set-clinching ace.
Torrey Miller led the Lady Lions with 24 kills followed by Olivia Fowler with six, Boswell with five, and Windham and Aleyia Cotton with three each. Hadley Monroe dished out 19 assists followed by 13 from Miller, four from Davalynn Monroe and one from Annie Gillispie. Windham served four aces while Fowler contributed one.
Defensively, Davalynn Monroe tallied 22 digs followed by Gillispie with 10, Boswell with nine, Miller and Hadley Monroe with seven apiece, Windham, Cotton and Lakyn Ratliff with four apiece, Fowler with three and Lindsey Larose with one. At the net, Larose collected six blocks followed by two each from Miller, Cotton and Windham, and one apiece by Boswell and Fowler.
Tuesday's contest was the final regular home game for the four Lady Lions seniors — Miller, Ratliff, Gillispie and Davalynn Monroe — though Brownwood will host Eastland at 4 p.m. Friday in playoff warmup game.
“We were talking in the locker room about how much of impact all four of these seniors have made and how the underclassman have truly looked up to them,” Withrow said. “They've been leaders on and off the court, and the juniors are going to have big shoes to fill.”
The Lady Lions will not know until Friday if they will play Decatur or Argyle — District 8-4A co-champions — in the first round of the playoffs.
“If it's Decatur it will be 6 p.m. Tuesday at Glen Rose, and if it's Argyle it will be 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Breckenridge,” Withrow said.