GRANBURY — Inconsistency plagued the Brownwood Lady Lions throughout the 2018-19 season, and reared its head again in the Region I-4A bi-district round of the playoffs Tuesday night.
The Lady Lions, making their 10th consecutive postseason appearance, were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round by Bridgeport, 43-32.
“It was a roller coaster year,” said Lady Lions 10th-year head coach Heather Hohertz. “We had some points where we were really good and points where we were really low. When your season’s on the line you have to be consistent and I thought we struggled with that all year long.”
District 7-4A third seed Brownwood (18-16) was limited to two first-quarter points and faced an uphill battle all night. Bridgeport (24-10), the District 8-4A runner-up, led by six points after one quarter, took a 22-12 lead into halftime and stretched the advantage to 33-19 after three quarters.
“I thought we were kind of timid going at them, and we talked about that the last two days of practice,” Hohertz said. “They outplayed us and they got it done. We fought hard in the fourth quarter to try and cut into their lead, but they withstood our run and came out on top.”
The Lady Lions were able to trim the deficit to nine points on a couple of occasions in the fourth quarter, but a controversial charge call on Mathya Thompson that could have allowed Brownwood to creep within six points essentially put the finishing touches on the season.
“I turned to my assistants and said that was definitely a momentum changer,” Hohertz said. “I was at a bad angle but I really didn’t think that was a charge. We could have cut it to six there, but sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way and that wasn’t a call that went our way.”
Thompson finished with 11 points for the Lady Lions, Mallory Garcia and Kenya Barnes added nine apiece and Cartina Brooks contributed three points. Brownwood shot a mere 23 percent (11 of 48) from the floor, including 1 of 11 on three-pointers. While sinking 75 percent (9 of 12) of their free throws, the Lady Lions still committed 18 turnovers.
“It seemed like we didn’t show up until the last quarter,” Hohertz said. “Our energy was off and we definitely didn’t shoot the ball very well. We talked about having to win the rebounding battle and turnover battle and we had 18 turnovers. At this point in the season you can’t have that if you want to win a game.”
Reflecting on the season, Hohertz said, “We put together a lot of people who haven’t played together this year. It took us a while to gel. We made a run for a couple of games in district, and last week I thought we played really well, but tonight Bridgeport took us out of our game. We have a lot of people returning and hopefully they use this as motivation for the upcoming year.”
Tuesday’s contest marked the end of the playing careers for the Lady Lions’ two seniors, Garcia and Ryleigh Dalleh.
“We have two seniors graduating and they’ve given a lot to this program,” Hohertz said. “They can’t hold their heads tonight after what they’ve done in their four years. I want to thank them for all they’ve given to this program, and I’m going to miss them for sure.”