STEPHENVILLE — After exchanging two-point home victories during the District 7-4A campaign, the Brownwood Lady Lions dominated the Godley Lady Cats, 55-34, Friday night to secure the league’s third seed into the playoffs.
With the victory, the Lady Lions (18-15) will face District 8-4A runner-up Bridgeport at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the bi-district round of the playoffs — Brownwood’s 10th consecutive trip to the postseason. Bridgeport appears at No. 19 in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association Class 4A rankings, and is unranked by the Texas Association of Baskeball Coaches.
Throughout the majority of the season, the Lady Lions either prospered inside or outside offensively, but rarely both. Friday night, however, Mallory Garcia and Matyha Thompson both finished with 20 points, a first this season.
Kenya Barnes tacked on six points while Ryleigh Dalleh, McKenzie Welker and Catrina Brooks each contributed three points.
The Lady Lions converted 40 percent (22 of 55) of their shots, including 8 of 28 three-pointers. Brownwood was aided little at the foul line as the Lady Lions — who converted 3 of 8 tries — did not attempt their first effort from the charity stripe until six minutes remained in the contest.
Defensively, the Lady Lions surrendered double figures in only one period — the third. Brownwood jumped out to a 15-9 lead after one quarter which ballooned to 33-18 at halftime and stood at 46-30 through three frames.
The Lady Lions scored the game’s first five points — all from Garcia — before Godley (14-22) drew even. Garcia followed her second trey to push Brownwood back in front, and the Lady Lions never trailed again. Garcia’s third trey of the opening frame made the score 13-9, and Barnes’ buzzer-beater gave Brownwood a six-point lead after the initial stanza.
In the second quarter, Thompson began to heat up, providing the first four points. Another trey from Garcia gave Brownwood its first double-digit lead, 22-12, then Dalleh drilled a three-pointer as the Lady Lions doubled up Godley, 25-12. Garcia and Welker later teamed up for consecutive three-pointers as Brownwood’s first-half lead peaked at 33-15.
In the third period, the Lady Lions pushed the lead past 20 points, 42-21, on a bucket by Barnes, but Godley closed the gap to 16 by the end of the quarter.
The Lady Cats crept within 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but Brownwood fired back with seven in a row — four by Thompson, two by Barnes and one from Brooks — to extend the advantage to 53-32, which ended any Godley hopes of an improbable rally.
With the loss, Godley will face District 8-4A champion Argyle — ranked No. 2 by the TGCA and No. 5 by TABC — in the bi-district round of the playoffs.