Whitesboro pulls out win over S&S to start 2nd half of 10-3A play

·4 min read
Whitesboro's Olivia Hildebrand battles S&S' Cate Sloan for a rebound during the Lady Bearcats' victory over the Lady Rams in District 10-3A action.
Whitesboro's Olivia Hildebrand battles S&S' Cate Sloan for a rebound during the Lady Bearcats' victory over the Lady Rams in District 10-3A action.

SADLER — It took a little more than three quarters to hold a lead and even though the Whitesboro Lady Bearcats didn’t give it back, that doesn’t mean the S&S Lady Rams made it easy as the second half of district play got underway.

The Lady Cats had cruised to six straight wins before losing last week by five against defending region champ Ponder in a battle for the top spot in the standings.

“Every team we beat in the first half was by double digits. We took care of our job in the first half,” WHS head coach Nick Hiebert said. “We have to get them to see it being close and tougher going forward because circumstances can change.”

A repeat performance over the next three weeks would give Whitesboro a chance at revenge but the first rematch on the schedule showed how tough it might be to navigate that same path.

Led by Allison Muntz, the second-place Lady Bearcats came through at key times in the fourth quarter to pull out a 43-38 victory over the third-place Lady Rams in 10-3A action.

“We were fortunate enough to get some things going in the second half to get the win,” Hiebert said. “You never want to underestimate someone in their own gym. S&S played extremely hard. They were really dedicated to their game plan.”

Muntz scored all 13 of her points in the second half, Olivia Hildebrand added 11 points and Libby Langford chipped in seven points for Whitesboro (21-7, 7-1), which hosts fifth-place Pilot Point on Friday and could clinch a playoff spot with a win pending other outcomes in the district.

Brenna Howard had 20 points and five steals, Olivia Manley chipped in nine points and 10 steals and Cate Sloan added seven points and six reb for S&S (15-6, 5-3), which dropped into a tie for third with Paradise.

The Lady Rams travel to Ponder on Friday night.

The Lady Bearcats relied on their defense to pull off the comeback, holding S&S to just six points in the fourth quarter.

Howard and Sloan each made a pair of free throws in the first 2:15 of the stanza but all the Lady Rams got over the final five-plus minutes was a bank shot in the post by Howard with 2:21 remaining.

She was fouled on the play and had a chance to tie the game at 39 with the free throw but missed. S&S got the ball back after a Whitesboro turnover but missed a shot to take the lead.

The Lady Bearcats were burning clock down to 55 seconds when Muntz snuck under the basket and was all alone for Bradi Gallaway’s pass from well outside the three-point line for a layup and 41-38 lead.

S&S turned the ball over and Hildebrand’s baseline pass over the top of the defense was run down by A’niyah Shaw for a basket with 27 seconds to go and Shaw’s steal on the ensuing possession sealed the win.

Muntz kicked off the fourth quarter with a three from the right corner which tied the game and she followed with a pair of free throws that put Whitesboro ahead for good at 34-32 with 7:24 remaining.

“Really big shots,” Hiebert said. “I think she was 0-for-7 in the first half but still had that confidence.”

Manley helped the Lady Rams to their largest lead at 28-20 in the middle of the third quarter but that’s when Muntz started to heat up and chip away at Whitesboro’s deficit.

She hit two three-pointers to spark a 9-4 burst to end the frame and the Lady Bearcats were down just 32-29.

After Hildebrand converted a three-point play to open the second quarter which tied the game at nine, Kylee Lewis scored, Howard finished off a three-point play and Manley came away with a steal and layup for a 16-9 advantage by the home team.

Hildebrand and Sloan traded threes but Whitesboro managed just two points in the final half of the second quarter and Howard was able to send S&S into the locker room with a 22-16 lead on a layup in the closing seconds.

It took Whitesboro nearly seven minutes to hit a shot when Melanie Baldwin’s layin tied the score at six.

Manley followed with a free throw and Howard connected twice from the line with 1.2 seconds on the clock to give S&S a 9-6 lead after the first quarter.

This article originally appeared on Herald Democrat: Whitesboro pulls out a win over S&S to start 2nd half of 10-3A play