Allen vs. Lewisville

Allen senior Zoe Jackson, right, came alive in the second half on Thursday to lift the Lady Eagles past Lewisville for a 45-38 victory in the bi-district round of the Class 6A playoffs.

THE COLONY — Recent bouts between the Allen and Lewisville girls basketball teams offered a pretty clear hint as to what would be in store when the two rivals collided Thursday in the bi-district round of the Class 6A playoffs.

Expect the game to be close and for points to be at a premium.

Check and check.

The Lady Eagles and Lady Farmers combined for a whopping 24 points in the first half on Thursday at The Colony High School in a start defined by defense. Over the last two quarters, senior Zoe Jackson sparked Allen back to life.

The Butler commit scored 14 of her game-high 18 points over the final two quarters to help the Lady Eagles distance from Lewisville late for a 45-38 victory and a spot in the area round of the postseason.

“She has so much explosiveness,” said Teresa Durham, Allen head coach. “We didn’t have a lot go right on offense in the first half — we couldn’t make a free throw to save our lives — and we talked about how bad they want this. Zoe’s effort afterwards was amazing.”

Jackson took charge from the onset of the second half, finishing a put-back in the third quarter’s opening moments and then finding senior Mackenzie Wurm in transition for a layup and a 17-11 lead. Jackson added a 3-pointer later in the frame plus three assists. She either scored or assisted on all five of Allen’s made field goals in the third stanza.

But as was a common theme on Thursday, whenever it felt like Allen was on the verge of blowing the contest open, the Lady Farmers mustered a response. Senior Haley Allen was active on both ends of the floor to keep Lewisville afloat on Thursday, scoring 13 points, grabbing four rebounds and logging eight steals in the loss.

She scored seven of her points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that cut the Lady Eagle lead to 32-30 with 4:30 to play in the game.

Haley Allen got help from sophomore Mya Dotson, who scored nine points and grabbed 11 boards with Allen keying its defense around slowing Lewisville senior post Laila Lawrence. The Lady Eagles limited the Texas A&M-Commerce signee to three points in the first half before she found a groove over the final two quarters to finish with 10 on the night.

Lawrence faced a slew of double teams and bodies in the paint, which at times worked to her detriment. That included with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter after the Lady Farmers had a chance to make it a one-possession game, trailing 42-38 — Lawrence drove to the basket, but Allen senior Alicia Mills was there to take the charge and foul Lewisville’s leading scorer out of the game.

“We talk about doing whatever it takes. I think Mills took two of those on Laila and that was just some amazing effort from her,” Durham said.

Senior JaMaya Johnson iced the game for Allen at the free throw line on her way to finishing with 10 points and seven rebounds in the win.

The Lady Eagles had bested Lewisville earlier in the season on Nov. 9, 38-34. The two sides met in the playoffs in 2017 and 2018 in games that were equally contentious — the Lady Farmers won in 2017, 37-35, and Allen won in 2018, 55-51.

“It’s just one of those things where no matter how much you game plan, we both always find a way to make it ugly with each other,” Durham said.

Up next for the Lady Eagles is a crack at either South Grand Prairie, ranked No. 4 in 6A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, or Lake Highlands in the area round at a time and place to be determined.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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